A group of LGBT youth who have been on the receiving end of anti-gay bullying had requested a lunch meeting with the “actor,” to discuss his vitriolic remarks against the LGBT community. Here’s the letter they sent:

Kirk Cameron
c/o Mark Craig
Mark Craig Productions
1383 Callens
Ventura, CA 93003

Friday, July 20, 2012

Invitation to Kirk Cameron to lunch on Saturday, July 28 in Ocean Grove, New Jersey

Dear Mr. Cameron:

I am Corey Bernstein, age 17, a resident of New Jersey and co-chair of the Youth Caucus at Garden State Equality, the state’s organization for LGBT civil rights. I endured brutal bullying at my former school because I am gay.

Mr. Cameron, I understand you are visiting Ocean Grove, New Jersey from Friday, July 27 through Sunday, July 29 to speak to the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association. When you are in town that weekend, I would like to extend this invitation for you to join me and other members of Garden State Equality’s Youth Caucus – many of whom are also teenagers who have been bullied because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

In fact, I would like to invite you to meet us for lunch at 1:00 pm on Saturday, July 28th in Ocean Grove, along with leaders from the local organization Ocean Grove United and from Garden State Equality. The lunch would be at the home of the co-chairs of Ocean Grove United.

In a kind, respectful and constructive way, we’d like to talk to you about the pain your words about being LGBT have personally caused me and other LGBT youth. If you can’t join us for lunch that Saturday – when we youth will be meeting regardless – but can meet us at another time that weekend, we will do everything to make the timing convenient for you.

Mr. Cameron, words casting negative judgments about LGBT people not only perpetuate prejudice in our wider society, but also hurt LGBT youth in particular. Some of your public comments about being LGBT have devastated us LGBT youth. We yearn to grow up in a world that provides us dignity and safety. That is our simple, most heartfelt dream.

The problem is not just that you oppose marriage equality – a view we disagree with, but to which you are entitled in our free nation – but that you did so with such disregard for how we youth would perceive your words. Your statement that being LGBT is ”destructive to our civilization,” when millions of LGBT people like me try our very best every day to make our world a better place, was like a knife in the heart. Many LGBT youth struggle with coming to terms with their sexual orientation or gender identity. Hearing statements such as yours are extremely hurtful and dangerous to these youth.

Haven’t my teen colleagues and I endured enough hurtful words at school? What kind of lesson might you, as a public figure, be giving to would-be bullies about how to treat other LGBT people? I must give you the benefit of the doubt when you say love everyone, including LGBT people. But saying that being LGBT is “destructive to our civilization,” as well as some of your other comments – calling being LGBT “unnatural” and making clear your belief that only certain marriages provide appropriate happiness – run counter to the loving person you no doubt are.

And I don’t know that such words are necessary to expressing one’s faith. Millions of God-loving people of many faiths hold different views from yours on being LGBT.

When I heard your comments, I personally felt you hated me – as did many other LGBT teens I know – without your having even met us. Please, Mr. Cameron, won’t you meet us when you’re in Ocean Grove at the end of the month? Although it may be tempting to call me and say you’re busy and that you’re taking our concerns seriously and did not intend to cause us pain, I really want you to meet us in person so we can talk with you face-to-face about the pain your words caused us.

You or your representatives may reach me via this email or on my mobile phone, .

Corey Bernstein
Co-Chair Garden State Equality Youth Caucus

Kirk Cameron’s response: eh, if you want to hear more hate from me, just look me up on YouTube or something. It’s all there. Kirk is apparently too busy with his new schedule as one of NOM’s “stupid celebrities” that they wish to use in a futile attempt to turn the cultural conversation back in their direction.

Seriously, here’s their letter back to the kids:

From: Mark Craig
Sent: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 4:48 PM
To: corey.bernstein
Subject: Fwd: Mr. Craig – for Kirk Cameron from Corey Bernstein

Hi Corey,

My name is Mark Craig and I am Kirk’s manager. His schedule is quite hectic with his movie “Monumental” and working on a new one at the same time, as well as his Love Worth Fighting For events.

He usually flies in the day of the event and after the event is actually traveling to the next one. Because of this intense schedule, there is not time to set up extra meetings like you are suggesting. That being said I would normally just write a simple reply, “Thanks for your invitation, however Kirk’s schedule will not permit,” but because you have taken some time to share some of your feelings, Kirk asked me to personally thank you on his behalf for your kind invitation and is very sorry he can not attend because of the schedule that weekend. I also want to thank you for taking the time to write and share your heart in your letter.

For this reason, I want to share this thought with you, from someone who sees and works with Kirk almost everyday of the year – I promise you his goal is not one of trying to hurt people in any way, in fact it is just the opposite. He has a concern for their well being – not only now, but eternally. He goes out to share a positive message through events like this weekend and I assure you he will only be presenting a positive/ inspiring message.

I would like to suggest if you really are interested in Kirk’s thoughts on the matter, you can listen online to the interviews and comments Kirk has shared where he was given ample time to communicate his heart and thoughts. I hope you can attend the event and see for yourself.

We wish you the best, Mark Craig
Manager for Kirk Cameron

Ouch. Love from Fundamentalists really does fall flat in every way, doesn’t it?

At the second link, you can also read the response from Congressman Frank Pallone, who WILL be joining the kids.

[h/t Joe]