Kirk Cameron

Kirk Cameron says he "absolutely" does not hate gay people and is surprised that his previous remarks that condemned homosexuality caused such a firestorm.

In an interview Tuesday with Today, the Growing Pains star denied that he is homophobic and clarified the comments he made on Piers Morgan Tonight earlier this month when he called homosexuality "unnatural" and "destructive."

GLAAD blasts Kirk Cameron for calling homosexuality "unnatural" and "destructive"

"Absolutely not," he said. "I love all people, I hate no one. ... When you take a subject and reduce it to something like a four-second sound bite and a check mark on a ballot, I think that that's inappropriate and insensitive. ... When things get edited down to that, it doesn't reflect, it certainly didn't reflect my whole heart on the matter."

He added: "Nobody should mistreat anybody — homosexuals should not be mistreated, heterosexuals should not be mistreated, bisexuals should not be mistreated. All of us who really think deeply about social issues like gay marriage and abortion and homosexuality have convictions on issues, and we all have our convictions formed by different things, and mine are formed by my faith, they're informed by the word of God, and I found that to be an anchor for me, a compass and a guide for me.

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Cameron drew ire from GLAAD and several of his Growing Pains co-stars for his remarks, which he told Ann Curry shocked him because he's held these beliefs for so long. Cameron, 41, became a born-again Christian when he was 17. "I was surprised, frankly, that people were surprised by the things that I've said," he explained. "I have been consistent for 15 years as a Christian. I'm a Bible-believing Christian. What I would have thought was more newsworthy is if I had said something that contradicted the word of God, if I had contradicted my faith."

The actor, who's promoting his documentary Monumental, reiterated the same sentiments Tuesday in an interview with Fox and Friends, adding that he does not regret his remarks. "I don't change my feeling about the comments," he said.

Following Cameron's interviews, Morgan fired back in a series of tweets about Cameron's "whining" that he had portrayed him unfairly. "Kirk Cameron is moaning everywhere today that I stitched him up by releasing a 4-second 'soundbite' re his comments on gay marriage," he wrote. "These are the 4 seconds: homosexuality is 'unnatural..detrimental, and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization.' Mr Cameron 'stands by the comments', despite his whining. So I'll let others decide if he was stitched up...or just a bigot. Re #KirkCameron, I respect his religious beliefs - just don't respect his use of bigoted, inflammatory language re homosexuality. End."

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