GROWING PAIN

Human-Rights Group Wants NJ Town To Disinvite Kirk Cameron

The specter of Kirk Cameron’s homophobic comments on Pier Morgan Tonight has resurfaced: A human rights group in the resort town of Orange Grove, NJ, wants the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association to disinvite Cameron from two speaking engagements this summer.

Cameron, now a Christian-disaster-movie star in rapture flicks like Left Behind mouthed off to Morgan Back in March about how homosexuality was “unnatural” and “destructive to many of the foundations of civilization.”

Members of local activist group Ocean Grove United (OGU) have asked organizers to cancel Cameron’s talks at the Great Auditorium on July 27, when he’s schedule to talk about the importance of marriage as part of the yearly Camp Meeting Week celebration.

“If someone had made a racist or anti-Semitic remark, would you want to be sponsoring that individual?” said Harriet Bernstein, OGU’s co-chair. The Meeting Association is discussing the request this month.

Ocean Grove was founded by Methodists and has a strong connection to the denomination. It is, in essence, a beach town for the Methodist community, with ordinances in keeping with the tenets of the faith.

But Ocean Grove butts up against Asbury Park, a longtime getaway for LGBTs in the Tri-State area. That proximity that’s caused friction between the two communities: Several years ago, residents of Asbury Park complained that Ocean Grove officials wouldn’t let allow same-sex commitment ceremonies on the beach.

Complicating things further is the fact that Randy Bishop, the mayor of Neptune Township (which both communities are part of) is himself gay.

Bishop told the Asbury Park Press he’d be disappointed if Cameron were to bring his “hate speech” to the community.

“I’m sorry that he’s going to be here,” said Bishop, who himself is gay. “Bringing a lot of emphasis to this just helps [Cameron] sell his books. Whether he is disinvited or not, it seems no one wins except Kirk Cameron.”

 

Homosexuals who preach tolerance are being hypocritical by demanding that someone they disagree with not be allowed to speak, said Pastor Robert Turton of the Gospel Mission Corps, a Hightstown-based organization.

“Kirk Cameron has something to say,” Turton said. “If people don’t want to hear it, they should stay away.”