THE group behind an event run by controversial US evangelical preacher Franklin Graham has begun legal proceedings against the SEC Hydro.

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) has asked Glasgow Sheriff Court to grant an interim order requiring the venue to hold the event – after it axed the plans last month.

The group, headed by Franklin Graham, believes the cancellation acts as “discrimination” against Christians.

The venue cancelled the May 30 event after pressure from Glasgow City Council, its primary shareholder, for it to be abandoned. It came after anger towards Mr Graham from his past comments made about gay rights and Islam, and his support for Donald Trump, despite the US President’s adultery.

The SEC now has until Thursday to detail to the courts why it cancelled the event.

Mr Graham, who is also president and CEO of the BGEA, said: “This is ultimately about whether the Scottish Event Campus will discriminate against the religious beliefs of Christians.

“More than 330 churches in the Glasgow area alone support this evangelistic outreach and their voices are being silenced. This case has wide-reaching ramifications for religious freedom and democracy in the UK and Europe.”

He added: “I want to encourage the Scottish Event Campus to meet with us and discuss options for a way forward. Let’s work towards a resolution.”

Susan Aitken, Glasgow City Council leader, previously said: “How [Mr Graham] expresses his views could, I believe, fundamentally breach the council’s statutory equalities duties.”

A spokeswoman for the SEC referred to the previous statement made saying the booking was processed in the same way they would for any religious concert.

She said: “We are aware of the recent adverse publicity surrounding this tour and have reviewed this with our partners and stakeholders. Following a request from our principal shareholder the matter has been considered and a decision made that we should not host this event.”