Protesters gathered in front of the Great Auditorium in Ocean Grove, N.J., last Friday to rally against actor Kirk Cameron's presence at a Christian conference, claiming his expressed convictions on marriage are harmful to gays and lesbians.
Reportedly 100 protesters, mainly part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community (LGBT), marched silently in front of the Great Auditorium to protest Cameron's Christian views regarding homosexuality.
The protesters, a part of the self-described civil rights group Ocean Grove United, marched with signs that read "Kirk! Your Words Hurt Us!" as roughly 6,000 couples showed up to hear Cameron speak on "Love Worth Fighting For," a presentation on Christian marriage.
In addition to the Ocean Grove United protest, its affiliated LGBT group, Youth Caucus at Garden State Equality, had requested that Cameron to attend lunch with them to discuss his views on homosexuality and how they feel his remarks could potentially lead to bullying of gay and lesbian youth.
The actor, who starred in the 1980s sitcom "Growing Pains," reportedly sent a note to the organization explaining that he could not attend the lunch due to a scheduling conflict.
In a statement emailed to The Christian Post, a spokesperson for Cameron confirmed that the actor's schedule was planned "months ago," and suggested that Ocean Grove United was using the actor to "get their name out there."
Cameron's spokesperson insisted that the nationwide "Love Worth Fighting For" events do not speak against gay marriage, and that the actor "loves and prays for all groups of people" and "does not discriminate" against any group.
Cameron's engagement Friday was part of Ocean Grove's Camp Meeting Association week, which offers an array of workshops and seminars advising participants on how to better strengthen their Christian faith.
When the actor and evangelical Christian learned that Ocean Grove United would be protesting his presentation, he told the Asbury Park Press that "all are welcome."
"I think everyone who comes to the 'Love Worth Fighting For' event in Ocean Grove or anywhere else we do this event will feel nothing but welcomed," Cameron said.
"They will feel loved and cared about and they will be challenged to think about what marriage is really all about – we invite everyone, everyone is welcome," he added.
In a March 2012 interview with "Piers Morgan Tonight" Cameron said that he believes homosexuality is ""unnatural" and "detrimental, and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization."
Although Cameron later went on the "Today" show along with numerous other shows to clarify that he does not condone the bullying of homosexuals, he has received a backlash of criticism for expressing his Christian beliefs.