Fallen teen idol and ‘Growing Pains’ star Kirk Cameron today issued a written statement to ABCNews.com responding to backlash he’s received after making anti-gay remarks on CNN’s ‘Piers Morgan Tonight.’
Explained Cameron, “I spoke as honestly as I could, but some people believe my responses were not loving toward those in the gay community. That is not true. I can assuredly say that it’s my life’s mission to love all people. I should be able to express moral views on social issues, especially those that have been the underpinning of Western civilization for 2,000 years...” For full statement, click here.
Herndon Graddick, GLAAD’s Senior Director of Programs and Communications today responded:
“Saying that gay people are 'detrimental to civilization' might be 'loving' in Kirk Cameron’s mind, but it's gay youth and victims of bullying who truly suffer from adults like Cameron who espouse these ideas.
“Cameron used his platform to attack gay Americans and is now attempting to play victim in an effort to sell his upcoming movie. That Cameron would risk the health and safety of young people in order to do so speaks for itself.
“So many Americans, popular celebrities and Christian leaders have stood up and said his views are out of touch. The fundamental dignity of gay people should no longer be a debate in this country.
“Obviously, Cameron has the right to recite his anti-gay talking points, just like fair-minded Americans have the right to tell him that his views are harmful and have no place in modern America.”
Celebrities including ‘Growing Pains’ co-stars Alan Thicke and Tracey Gold, Kristin Chenoweth, Sara Gilbert, La Toya Jackson, Roseanne Barr, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Craig Ferguson, Debra Messing, Martha Plimpton, and Jamie Lee Curtis have all spoken out in support of LGBT people in response to his comments. See what they had to say here.
Randy Roberts Potts, LGBT advocate and grandson of the late televangelist, Oral Roberts, said this of Cameron’s response:
“Increasingly, Christians understand that loving their gay and lesbian family and friends means supporting them and advocating for protections for their families. Kirk may feel that he is defending the ‘underpinning of Western civilization’ through his words, but in reality they are harming those whom he claims to love. I hope that he will continue to study and pray on how he can demonstrate true Christian love toward gay and lesbian people.”
According to the Public Religion Research Institute, majorities of most religious groups -- including Christian groups -- support marriage equality for loving and committed gay and lesbian couples. Clear support for marriage equality exists within a majority of Catholic and Protestant populations, with significant and growing support among other Christian groups. This demonstrates that so-called “moral views” like Cameron's are not echoed within the mainstream of Christianity.
“Despite what Kirk Cameron said on CNN's Piers Morgan program, being gay is not unnatural, detrimental, or destructive to the foundation of civilization,” said Todd Ferrell, President of The Evangelical Network. "The church in large is part of the problem but has great potential to be a part of the solution. The church and Christianity have gotten off track by over emphasizing religious legalism and under emphasizing a relationship with God. They also are simply out of touch with where America is on equality. Churches across America are seeing lower attendance and much of this has been attributed to their non-stop preaching against gays and lesbians.”
GLAAD is proud to work with several faith organizations that embrace and welcome LGBT people. Please visit any of the following organizations to learn more about their faithful support of LGBT people:
Gay Christian Network
Institute for Welcoming Resources
The Evangelical Network
Metropolitan Community Church
Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists
Dignity USA (Catholic)
Lutherans Concerned/North America
Reconciling Ministries Network (Methodist)
Room For All (Reformed Church in America)