Chip and Joanna Gaines are successful home renovation reality stars who attend the evangelical Antioch Community Church.
Internet news publication Buzzfeed has gotten the attention of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). The conservative organization has issued a call for members to sign a petition directed at HGTV after Buzzfeed ran a story about Christian renovators Chip and Joanna Gaines of the HGTV series Fixer Upper.
The article examines the reality show duo and their religious beliefs only so far as to question whether their show would ever feature a same-sex couple because the Gaines’ place of worship is The Antioch Community Church, an evangelical mega-church with ultra-conservative views.
HGTV told Buzzfeed in a statement that their network is inclusive and always has been.
The statement from HGTV reads: “We don’t discriminate against members of the LGBT community in any of our shows. HGTV is proud to have a crystal clear, consistent record of including people from all walks of life in its series.”
Buzzfeed delved further into the church and spoke to their ACC’s communication’s director, who directly solidified the church’s views on homosexuality by telling the reporter to seek out the its beliefs page :
“Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime.”
ACC founder and pastor, Jimmy Seibert, echoed these views himself the day after the Supreme Court ruling which legalized same-sex marriage.
“This is a clear biblical admonition," he said from his podium, "So if someone were to say, ‘Marriage is defined in a different way,’ let me just say: They are wrong.
"God defined marriage, not you and I. God defined masculine and feminine, male and female, not you and I.”
This story drew the attention of NOM and its founder Brain S. Brown who quickly went on the defensive and labeled the article and all sourced pieces -- in his words -- an “LGBT witchhunt”.
Brown set up a petition page for members to sign, asking that HGTV not give in to “anti-Christian bigotry.”
Here is the all-caps verbiage taken directly from the petition site:
I STAND WITH CHIP AND JOANNA GAINES OF FIXER UPPER, WHO ARE BEING UNFAIRLY ATTACKED BASED UPON THEIR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS.
IT IS UNBELIEVABLE THAT BUZZFEED WOULD ENGAGE IN LEFT-WING MCCARTHYISM TO SAY THAT THOSE OF US WHO BELIEVE THAT MARRIAGE IS THE UNION OF A MAN AND WOMAN ARE SOMEHOW PARIAHS.
MILLIONS OF AMERICANS SHARE THE GAINES’ BELIEF THAT MARRIAGE IS A UNION BETWEEN ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN.
DON’T DISCRIMINATE AGAINST THE GAINES FOR BEING CHRISTIANS! DON'T ACCEPT THIS FORM OF BIGOTRY TOWARD CHRISTIANS!
NOM was founded in 1997 to lobby against ideas and laws regarding marriage equality and especially to pass Proposition 8 in California.
The group also opposes gay adoption and transgender rights.
Photo credit People Magazine