Actor Kirk Cameron attends the premiere of Samuel Goldwyn Films'...

Actor Kirk Cameron attends the premiere of Samuel Goldwyn Films' “Fireproof” at the Fire Museum in Hollywood. (Sept. 25, 2008) Credit: Getty Images

Former "Growing Pains star Kirk Cameron Tuesday responded to the chorus of celebrities who have criticized him for harsh statements he made Friday about gays.

Cameron, 41, a born-again Christian who has starred in faith-based movies and co-founded a California evangelical ministry, said in an email to ABC News that when CNN's Piers Morgan asked him his stance on homosexuality, "I spoke as honestly as I could, but some people believe my responses were not loving toward those in the gay community. That is not true. I can assuredly say that it's my life's mission to love all people.

"I should be able to express moral views on social issues, especially those that have been the underpinning of Western civilization for 2,000 years -- without being slandered, accused of hate speech, and told from those who preach 'tolerance' that I need to either bend my beliefs to their moral standards or be silent when I'm in the public square."

And he added: "I've been encouraged by the support of many friends (including gay friends, incidentally)."

Cameron told Morgan that being gay is "detrimental," "unnatural" and "ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization."

Herndon Graddick, spokesman for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) responded in an email to ABC, "Saying that gay people are 'detrimental to civilization' might be 'loving' in Kirk Cameron's mind, but it's gay youth and victims of bullying who truly suffer from adults like Cameron who espouse these ideas."

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