Kirk Cameron Responds to Critics of his Anti-Gay Remarks

Kirk Cameron - P 2008

The religious actor says that he's received kind words from gay friends.

Kirk Cameron has struck back against enormous public criticism following his anti-gay remarks late last week.

Having called homosexuality "unnatural" and gay marriage "detrimental and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization" during an interview with Piers Morgan, Cameron told ABC News on Tuesday that he was receiving the sort of intolerance he had been accused of spreading.

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“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," he told the station. “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," Cameron continued, "I’ve been encouraged by the support of many friends (including gay friends, incidentally).”

The former Growing Pains star, who has since featured in a number of Christian-themed films and runs his own ministry, The Way of the Master.

His comments drew criticism from former co-stars Tracy Gold and Alan Thicke, as well as rebukes from a slew of celebrities who tweeted their displeasure. Morgan called the comments "brave," which also raised eyebrows.