Kirk Cameron has broken his silence on the controversy sparked by his anti-gay remarks. Responding to the criticism he had received since saying that homosexuality is "detrimental and destructive" on "Piers Morgan Tonight", the former "Growing Pains" star assured that he loves all kinds of people.
"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," the 41-year-old actor said in a statement e-mailed to ABC News on Tuesday, March 6. He went on to stress, "I can assuredly say that it's my life's mission to love all people."
Cameron continued on, "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."
In the end, the Caleb Holt of "Fireproof" said, "I believe we need to learn how to debate these things with greater love and respect." He added, "I've been encouraged by the support of many friends (including gay friends, incidentally)."
Cameron's clarification, however, didn't manage to win over GLAAD. Spokesman Herndon Graddick has responded to the actor's statement by pointing out, "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."
Graddick further said in the e-mailed statement, "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."
Cameron set the tongues wagging with the comments he made during a Friday, March 2 appearance on "Piers Morgan". Asked about his view on homosexuality, the born-again Christian replied, "I think that it's unnatural. I think that it's detrimental, and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization." He also admitted that he doesn't support gay marriage.
While the show's host Piers Morgan called him brave for making the statement, Cameron faced backlash for his remarks, and was criticized by his fellow celebrities. Among those were his on-screen sister Tracey Gold and on-screen father Alan Thicke, who were quick to tweet messages of support to same-sex relationships.