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Hamilton musical didn’t authorise Texas church anti-gay performances

A post-show sermon compared homosexuality as a struggle alongside alcohol and drug addiction.

By Emily Maskell

Words: Emily Maskell; pictures: Disney

Producers of the Broadway musical, Hamilton, have said they didn’t authorise a Texas church’s production of the show and were unaware of alterations and the addition of a homophobic sermon at the end. 

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s original sung-and-rapped musical Hamilton, a story of the American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, became a journey to find Jesus in a modified production by the Door Christian Fellowship Ministries. 

A spokesperson for Hamilton told Forbes that the production was unauthorised and performed illegally on Monday (8 August) after the show, which was performed on 5 and 6 August, garnered widespread attention.

YouTuber and podcast host Hemant Mehta shared videos of the performance on Twitter showing segments of the altered Hamilton performance, which sees Alexander Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler singing about their belief in Jesus when the original lyrics were a confrontation of the challenges in their marriage.

At the conclusion of the performance, Pastor Victor Lopez held a post-show sermon where he listed homosexuality as a struggle alongside alcohol and drug addiction, saying these things can be helped. 

He said: “Maybe you struggle with alcohol, with drugs, homosexuality. Maybe you struggle with other things in life, your finances, whatever, relationships — God can help you tonight.”

Forbes reports Hamilton’s attorneys sent a cease and desist letter to the church on Saturday (6 August) citing the “unauthorized” staging, and “demanded the immediate removal” of all photos and videos of the show from the Internet but granted a “limited permission” for the Saturday performance to go ahead 

During Sunday’s (7 August) morning service, Pastor Roman Gutierrez said a lawyer had asked him to remove online videos of the performance.

Pastor Gutierrez detailed that Hamilton’s legal team had provided the church with “the license to perform our version of Hamilton,” which is not true. The church was only granted one performance permission with no modifications and cannot now host any further productions of the show.

Pastor Gutierrez also added that the church isn’t anti-LGBTQ and that everyone is welcome.

The statement from Hamilton‘s producers said they “would be discussing this matter with the parties behind this unauthorized production within the coming days once all facts are properly vetted.”

The church may be forced to pay fines for the unlicensed production should Hamilton pursue action against it.

“We would like to thank our devoted fans for bringing this to our attention,” the statement concludes.

In a statement provided to CNN on Monday, Hamilton producers said: “‘Hamilton‘ does not grant amateur or professional licenses for any stage productions and did not grant one to The Door Church.”

It adds producers were unaware “of the extensive changes to the show or that there would be a sermon at the end” when they allowed Saturday’s performance to move forward.

“We have reserved all of our rights and are considering how to proceed based upon what we’ve learned. The Hamilton family stands for tolerance, compassion, inclusivity, and certainly LGBTQ+ rights. We are in the process of reviewing the unauthorized changes made to the script to determine further action.”

The Attitude September/October issue is out now