After Kirk Cameron’s denigration of homosexuality as “unnatural” and “destructive” didn’t exactly go over well with others in the acting community, Cameron employed the common Religious Right refrain that his rights to “freedom of speech and freedom of religion” are being infringed upon when people respond critically to him. He seems to think that people expressing their own beliefs about his remarks somehow takes away his constitutional rights. Along with Religious Right groups, anti-gay writer and talk show host Michael Brown is jumping to Cameron’s defense, and he takes particular issue with a tweet by Roseanne Barr where she called Cameron “an accomplice to murder with his hate speech.” Brown argues that if Cameron’s statements fuel anti-gay stigmas and gay suicide, then Michelle Obama must be equally “complicit in the suicides of kids who were bullied because of their obesity” because of her Let’s Move campaign which promotes healthy living:
Last weekend, actor Kirk Cameron appeared on the Piers Morgan show to discuss his new movie Monumental, and somehow Morgan turned the interview to the subject of homosexuality (surprise!), asking him if he thought gay marriage was a sin and wanting to know what he would teach his children. Cameron stated that according to his beliefs, marriage “was defined by God a long time ago … one man, one woman for life, till death do us part.”
Morgan then asked him, “Do you think homosexuality is a sin?” to which Cameron replied, “I think it’s unnatural, that it’s detrimental and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization.”
The backlash was immediate and intense (surprise again!), coming from gay activist organizations like GLAAD (which, I have pointed out, really stands for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Disagreement, not Defamation) and from celebrities like Roseanne Barr, who said: “Kirk or kurt or whatever Cameron is an accomplice to murder with his hate speech. So is rick warren. Their peers r killing gays in Uganda.”
How should we respond to these charges? First, we should point out that gay kids do not simply kill themselves because they are told that marriage is the union of a man and a woman. In the vast majority of cases, gay teens kill themselves (like other teens do) because of deeper emotional and psychological problems, so we must do whatever we can to help them deal with the deeper issues in their lives. Without a doubt, each of these deaths is a terrible tragedy, but these kids must not be used as pawns to advance a social agenda, nor they should be told that their suicides are somehow expected or unavoidable.
Second, we should ask gay activists if anti-obesity campaigns are causing obese kids to commit suicide. If so, wouldn’t this make Michelle Obama complicit in the suicides of kids who were bullied because of their obesity? (In no way do I minimize the horrific tragedy of a teen suicide, whatever its cause. I simply want to expose the folly of the “accomplice to murder/suicide” accusation.)