COMMENTARY | Kirk Cameron was as charming as they come as a teen star on the sitcom “Growing Pains” in the late 80s. Now an adult actor, Cameron recently revealed a homophobic side that we didn’t see onscreen.
In March of this year, Cameron appeared on “Piers Morgan Tonight” and talked faith and politics with Morgan in the context of the upcoming election. Cameron said not only that marriage is fundamentally between a man and a woman, but that homosexuality is “unnatural, detrimental and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization.”
Criticism came almost immediately, some lighthearted and some somber. A group of former child actors organized to tell the world they didn’t agree with Cameron’s message of hate in a tongue-in-cheek Funny or Die video. Another former teen actress, Sara Gilbert, went as far as to say Cameron’s message could have an effect on the rate of LGBT teen suicide.
A few months later, it was revealed that Cameron is now working with the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage. In addition to attempting to drive a wedge between the LGBT community and the African-American community to weaken support for Democrats and marriage equality, NOM had also been seeking a “non-cognitive elite” to represent their hateful organization. They found a celebrity spokesperson in Cameron.
Now, Cameron has announced he will make an appearance at an event in New Jersey tonight on behalf of upholding “traditional marriage.” While he’s visiting New Jersey, the Youth Caucus at Garden State Equality, the state’s LGBT rights organization, asked if Cameron would visit with bullied LGBT youth to talk about some of his remarks.
One such request came from 17-year-old Corey Bernstein, who wrote : “In a kind, respectful and constructive way, we’d like to talk to you about the pain your words about being LGBT have personally caused me and other LGBT youth. Your statement that being LGBT is ‘destructive to our civilization,’ when millions of LGBT people like me try our very best every day to make our world a better place, was like a knife in the heart.”
Not a chance — their request was shot down. Cameron’s spokesperson Mark Craig responded to the teens with the following statement : “I want to share this thought with you, from someone who sees and works with Kirk almost every day of the year — I promise you his goal is not one of trying to hurt people in any way, in fact it is just the opposite. He has a concern for their well being – not only now, but eternally. He goes out to share a positive message through events like this weekend and I assure you he will only be presenting a positive/inspiring message. I would like to suggest if you really are interested in Kirk’s thoughts on the matter, you can listen online to the interviews and comments Kirk has shared where he was given ample time to communicate his heart and thoughts . I hope you can attend the event and see for yourself.”
Not only did Cameron reject the honest request for discussion with a group of teens in need, but he had the audacity to refer them to videos where he makes the same hurtful, outlandish claims that sparked the controversy to begin with. There is nothing positive whatsoever about Cameron’s message, regardless of what his spokesperson says. If there’s something destructive to denounce here, it’s Cameron’s ruthless homophobia.
Camille Beredjick is a journalism student at Northwestern University and the founder and sole contributor of GayWrites.org, a daily LGBT news blog.