Former teen actor Kirk Cameron on Tuesday responded to growing criticism of anti-gay remarks he made during an interview on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight” last Friday, and called the backlash against him “slander.”
The former “Growing Pains” actor and self-proclaimed born again Christian has come under fire for saying marriage was “defined by God,” and that homosexuality is “unnatural” and “destructive” to the foundations of civilization.
Following the broadcast, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) denounced Cameron as a “fallen teen idol” who “sounds even more dated than his 1980s TV character.”
“Cameron is out of step with a growing majority of Americans, particularly people of faith who believe that their gay and lesbian brothers and sisters should be loved and accepted based on their character and not condemned because of their sexual orientation,” said Herndon Graddick, Senior Director of Programs at GLAAD.
In a statement to ABC News on Tuesday, Cameron defended his remarks, and added that he has the support of his “gay friends.”
“I spoke as honestly as I could, but some people believe my responses were not loving toward those in the gay community,” the “Growing Pains” star told ABC News in a statement. “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 — without being slandered, accused of hate speech, and told from those who preach ‘tolerance’ that I need to either bend my beliefs to their moral standards or be silent when I’m in the public square.
“I believe we need to learn how to debate these things with greater love and respect. I’ve been encouraged by the support of many friends (including gay friends, incidentally).”– Kirk Cameron
“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,” said Graddick, responding to Cameron’s statement.
“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,” said Graddick.
“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.”– GLAAD
Since last week’s interview, a growing number of celebrities have spoken out in support of LGBT people in response to Cameron’s comments, including “Growing Pains” co-stars Alan Thicke and Tracey Gold.