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Despite saying earlier this month that homosexuality was "unnatural," in a new interview Kirk Cameron has denied he's homophobic.
The 41-year-old "Growing Pains" star was raked over the coals in early March when, during a CNN interview with Piers Morgan, he called homosexuality "unnatural."
"I think that it's detrimental, and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization," the born-again Christian actor said while promoting a new documentary.
In his first interview since the debacle, Cameron told the Daily Beast he was caught off-guard by Morgan's "rapid-fire" discussion of homosexuality, but that he was even more surprised by the response to his statements.
"I'm not homophobic," he said. "That pains me in my heart to think that someone who is gay would think that I don't love them and care about them."
The comment echoed Cameron's defense of his remarks a few days after the CNN interview, when he said it was his "life's mission to love all people."
Cameron was also blasted for telling Morgan that if his son came out to him, he wouldn't say, "That's great, son, as long as you're happy." In the Beast interview, he clarified the statement.
"If my kids came to me and said I'm gay, I'd say, 'Son, I love you,'" he said. "That's never at stake. Never, never, never at stake."
Following Cameron's remarks to CNN, his fellow "Growing Pains" stars took to Twitter to offer their takes on the matter.
"I love Kirk but I may have to spank him...'tho not in a gay way!" tweeted Canadian actor Alan Thicke, who played Cameron's dad.
His onscreen sister, Tracey Gold, was slightly more subdued in her response.
"I am a strong supporter of the #LGBT Community, and I believe in equal rights for all. #NOH8 #LOVE," she tweeted.
Though the media painted it as the actor's former co-stars denouncing him, Cameron claimed it wasn't like that.
"What's so funny, Tracey called me and said, 'Hey it's me, all these people are calling me. You know how I feel about gay marriage. I totally respect your perspective and you have mine. I just want to make sure we're fine,'" he told the Daily Beast.
Meanwhile, Thicke undercut his comedic tweets.
"He was like, 'Kirk, this thing is heating up a lot. I'm just trying to give them some comedic relief with my tweets,'" Cameron said. "But he said nothing comes between family."
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