Kirk Cameron, the radical religious extremist and former teen star of “Growing Pains” met with criticism from, well, everyone, for his anti-gay, homophobic, and remarkably incendiary comments on Friday night’s Piers Morgan Tonight. In a response “almost as old as dirt,” now Cameron has come out swinging, claiming his chosen religious beliefs trump human dignity and the need for civility and respect, and branding as intolerant those who do not tolerate hate speech.
Cameron, who was asked by Morgan his views on same-sex marriage, said homosexuality “is destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization,” and “unnatural.”
“Marriage is almost as old as dirt, and it was defined in the garden between Adam and Eve,” Cameron added. “One man, one woman for life till death do you part. So I would never attempt to try to redefine marriage. And I don’t think anyone else should either. So do I support the idea of gay marriage? No, I don’t.”
Several of Cameron’s former “Growing Pains” co-stars have come out in support of the gay community and voiced their disdain of Cameron’s anti-gay rhetoric, including Tracey Gold and Alan Thicke, who via Twitter wrote, “I’m getting him some new books. The Old Testament simply can’t be expected to explain everything.”
Joanna Kerns, the Seaver mom on “Growing Pains” has not weighed in but is known to support LGBT equality, as do former “Growing Pains” guest stars Brad Pitt, Leo Dicaprio, and Hillary Swank.
“I should be able to express moral views on social issues,” Kirk Cameron today told ABC News in an exclusive statement today, adding, “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 spoke as honestly as I could, but some people believe my responses were not loving toward those in the gay community,” Cameron also told ABC. “That is not true. I can assuredly say that it’s my life’s mission to love all people.”
Of course, it’s the old, “Love the sinner, but hate the sin,” default statement, which, as Dan Savage likes to point out, is just a kinder version of “God hates fags.”
ABC News adds:
Over the weekend, GLAAD launched a petition called Tell Kirk Cameron It’s Time to Finally Grow Up. It had more than 5,500 signatures this afternoon.
GLAAD spokesman Herndon Graddick released an email statement to ABCNews.com in response to Cameron’s latest comments: “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.”
“Obviously, Cameron has the right to recite his anti-gay talking points,” Graddick added, “just like fair-minded Americans have the right to tell him that his views are harmful and have no place in modern America.”
For the record, no one has tried to silence Cameron, but it is indeed hate speech to call an innocent segment of the population “destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization,” especially when that is a patently false lie.
In Kirk Cameron’s world, religious zealots are “supposed to” be able to sprout hate speech and be able to chalk it up to “the Bible,” while in the real world, America is quickly recognizing demonization of gay people and hate speech exactly for what they are.
GLAAD has an excellent collection of quotes from celebrities denouncing Kirk Cameron’s attacks and supporting LGBT equality.
We invite you to sign up for our new mailing list, and subscribe to The New Civil Rights Movement via email or RSS.