Words: Steve Brown
Chris Pratt has denied attending an alleged anti-LGBT+ church.
Last year, it was revealed that the Guardians of the Galaxy star was one of many celebrities, including Justin Bieber, who frequently attends a Los Angeles branch of the Australian megachurch Hillsong Church.
However, the actor faced backlash after it was revealed Carl Lentz – who leads its New York branch – said in 2015 that homosexuality is a sin and a gay member of the church could never hold a leadership position.
In the same year, the church’s global senior pastor, Brian Houston, released a statement which criticised two male choir members who got married.
The church has also been accused of supporting gay conversion therapy but has appeared to be disavowed in 2011.
But over the weekend, Pratt was discussing his beliefs on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert when actor Ellen Page called him out and tweeted: “Oh. K. Um. But his church is infamously anti lgbtq so maybe address that too?”
Oh. K. Um. But his church is infamously anti lgbtq so maybe address that too? https://t.co/meg8m69FeF— Ellen Page (@EllenPage) February 8, 2019
She then later wrote: "If you are a famous actor and you belong to an organization that hates a certain group of people, don’t be surprised if someone simply wonders why it’s not addressed.
"Being anti LGBTQ is wrong, there aren’t two sides. The damage it causes is severe. Full stop. Sending love to all"
If you are a famous actor and you belong to an organization that hates a certain group of people, don’t be surprised if someone simply wonders why it’s not addressed. Being anti LGBTQ is wrong, there aren’t two sides. The damage it causes is severe. Full stop. Sending love to all— Ellen Page (@EllenPage) February 9, 2019
And now, the Avengers: Infinity War star took to Instagram to defend his church and wrote: “It has recently been suggested that I belong to a church which ‘hates a certain group of people’ and is ‘infamously anti-LGBTQ.’ Nothing could be further from the truth. I go to a church the opens their doors to absolutely everyone.
“Despite what the Bible says about divorce my church community was there for me every step of the way, never judging, just gracefully accompanying me on my walk.
“They helped me tremendously offering love and support. It is what I have seen them do for others on countless occasions regardless of sexual orientation, race or gender.
“My faith is important to me but no church defines me or my life and I am not a spokesman for any church or any group of people.
“My values define who I am. We need less hate in this world, not more. I am a man who believes that everyone is entitled to love who they want free from the judgment of their fellow man.”