When former child actor Kirk Cameron brings his Christian marriage-counseling tour, "Love Worth Fighting For," to New Jersey Friday, he’ll no doubt see plenty of friendly faces in the crowd, but protestors will also meet him at the doors to the Great Auditorium in Ocean Grove.
Cameron, a 1980s teen heartthrob who played Mike Seaver on Growing Pains, has made anti-gay remarks in the past, saying that homosexuality is “unnatural” and that gay marriage is “detrimental” to society.
Local civil rights group Ocean Grove United plans to hold a silent protest outside of the auditorium before Cameron speaks given his comments. The organization told Lean Forward that they're not sure how many will participate but it could be more 100. A community block party will follow.
Ocean Grove United had previously petitioned the Camp Meeting Association, a local religious organization that invited Cameron to speak, to dis-invite the actor.
The Youth Caucus of the civil rights group Garden State Equality group also asked to meet with Cameron to address bullying issues for LGBT youths, but were turned down by his manager, the group reported. The co-chair of the caucus, Corey Bernstein, invited Cameron to meet the teens for lunch Saturday at the home of the co-chairs of Ocean Grove United, according to an email shared by Garden State Equality.
The lunch will continue without Cameron and will include trustees of the Camp Meeting Association, as well as Democratic Congressman Frank Pallone, the organization said.
Rep. Pallone of New Jersey also sent a letter to the actor asking him to reconsider meeting with the teens. In a statement the congressman said he was "deeply disappointed" not only in Cameron's statements but also his unwillingness to join the lunch.
Cameron, a married father of six, hosts the "marriage event" around the country with musician Warren Barfield. The event is described thus on its website.
The Bible repeatedly uses “father,” “husband,” “bride” and “child” analogies to demonstrate God’s relationship with the church and his followers. There is no better example of the unconditional love God has for us than what we are instructed to have for our spouse and children. Building upon these themes, Love Worth Fighting For is a marriage event, featuring teaching by Kirk Cameron and music by Warren Barfield, designed to strengthen and encourage your marriage.