Thousands Sign Petitions In Support Of Fixer Upper Stars Chip And Joanna Gaines

Chip and Joanna Gaines are the stars of HGTV's hugely popular show Fixer Upper. A recent Buzzfeed article raised questions about their views on same-sex marriage.Fixer Upper HGTV/ Facebook

More than 33,000 people have signed a petition that defends the conservative view on same-sex marriage taken by the pastor of HGTV stars Chip and Joanna Gaines of the Fixer Upper TV programme. More than 86,000 have signed another petition calling on HGTV to keep airing the show.

The couple have been the subject of wide comment because they attend a church whose pastor, Jimmy Seibert, supports ex-gay therapy and opposes gay marriage.

The petition states: "When pastors bravely preach biblical truth that contradicts the 'truths' of the politically correct culture, people listen. I stand with Pastor Seibert in his conviction about the biblical view of marriage and commend him for his courage in speaking the truth, even when it's controversial."

There was widespread debate, including in Christian Today, after a piece on Buzzfeed about the Texas church they attend, Antioch Community Church.

Seibert made clear his opposition to same-sex marriage in a sermon on the church website when he stated that marriage is between a man and a woman.

Conservative Christians were frustrated by what they regarded as  "bizarre and not newsworthy" attacks that then followed. 

Seibert told Tony Perkins, of the Family Research Council, that the story had caused a surge in hits to his church website and he was grateful that so many were being exposed to Bible teachings. "Thousands and maybe hundreds of thousands of people are now getting some Scripture, getting some clarity, some truth and some thought on this issue or marriage and life and sexual identity and all that. In a weird way, we are grateful that message is getting out," he said, according to The Christian Post.

HGTV said in a statement it does not discriminate against the lesbian and gay community.

Chip Gaines has not commented but in a tweet he asked for respect to be shown to two journalists who wrote stories about the issue: 

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