HGTV Responds to ‘Fixer Upper’ Controversy: ‘We Don’t Discriminate Against’ LGBT Community

Fixer Upper
Courtesy of HGTV

HGTV has responded to the controversy that followed after it was reported that Chip and Joanna Gaines, hosts of the popular series “Fixer Upper,” attend a church that is firmly against same-sex marriage.

“We don’t discriminate against members of the LGBT community in any of our shows,” reads the statement sent to Variety and several other publications. “HGTV is proud to have a crystal clear, consistent record of including people from all walks of life in its series.”

The church in question, Antioch Community Church, is led by pastor Jimmy Seibert, who has long been against homosexuality. Most notably, he delivered a 2015 sermon denouncing homosexuality following the Supreme Court’s ruling that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. The sermon was recorded and is available online.

“God defined marriage, not you and I,” said the pastor. “God defined masculine and feminine, male and female, not you and I.”

In addition, Seibert believes that homosexuality is a “lifestyle” choice, and that conversion therapy is necessary for those who identify as LGBTQ.

“We can change, contrary to what you hear,” Seibert continued “I’ve worked with people for over 30 years — I have seen hundreds of people personally change their direction of same-sex attraction from a homosexual lifestyle to a heterosexual lifestyle. It doesn’t mean they don’t struggle with feelings, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t hurting, it doesn’t mean it’s not challenging. But they have chosen to change. And there has always been grace there for those who choose that.”

However, in a recent interview with Fox News, Seibert addressed the controversy and denied that the church is anti-gay.

“People don’t know what the Bible says anymore on issues of sexuality,” Seibert said. “People don’t know what God says on homosexuality or any other issue. I felt the need to say we are all a mess -– but the fixed points were set by God –- not us.”

“We are pro-helping people in their journey to find out who God is and who He has made them to be,” he added.

Chip and Joanna Gaines have not yet responded to the backlash.

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  1. Regina Hose says:

    I am so sick of the ” politically correct” in America. Regardless of one’s belief which I do believe we all have that RIGHT, what one does for a living and their private life are no one else’s business. If they have not broken any laws then everyone should put their big girl’s or boy’s panties on and get on with life. I myself only have to worry about me and only have to answer for me. To each their own, move on people there are more important things to get your panties in a ruffle. Feeding the hungry, helping veterans, homelessness and the list goes on and on. If you want to watch then watch and if you don’t then don’t . And if you don’t like America then try another country and see if you like it. LOL Good Day!

  2. dlmasters says:

    This is what I don’t get. Why is it anyone’s business if people are friends or lovers? Why should it concern anyone but the two people involved? I’m sick of this country and all its people sticking their noses in anyone else’s business. They have found love. Let them be happy. It does not concern anyone else. LGBT people deserve our kindness and respect. They are equal citizens like the rest of us. Try some compassion as a response next time. It will be much more satisfying.

  3. Mr GayBOy69 says:

    Waht the hell I am of the LGBT community and I do NOT appreicatw this article!!11

  4. Shirley says:

    Is it possible to make Chip look more tidy and less sloppy. Basically his unruly hair.

  5. Cindy Davis says:

    My husband and I never miss an episode of Fixer Upper. Chip and Joanna are two very special people.
    We were looking for ways to cut down on our cable cost and we were told we’d have to cut out HDTV.
    There is no way we would give up watching their show. I hope they will not be taken off the air over this.

    • Michael Aubrey says:

      What a shame that in 2016 people continue to spread the lie that sexuality is a choice. People can choose their actions but not their feelings. For a so-called spiritual leader to continue to spew hate and ignorance is frightening, as is the fact that the Gaines’ family supports it. No more Fixer Upper for me. HGTV Should cancel the series now.

  6. Jane Lamb says:

    This church lady loves Joanna and Chip Gaines for their humor love for one another and family. I include them in a life saving hospitalization in October. If I didn’t them to watch it would have been politics all the time. EGAD! Thank you. BTW…I’m a liberal Democrat. And, I am a 76 year old!

  7. Barack O. says:

    Variety sucks. Censorship? More like Lack of Variety.

  8. Lynn Williford says:

    If you all take Fixer Upper off the air. I will quite watching any show’s own this station.They are both great people and leave them alone.

  9. Gregg Wyant says:

    The left is so tolerant of Christian beliefs. What stance did you expect a Baptist pastor to take?

  10. Tarryn says:

    I’m pretty sure I’ve seen several episodes of Jo and Chip serving same sex couples. This is just another example of the LGBTQ movement trying to bully people into “tolerance”. If you believe in the freedom of lifestyle and human rights, let people go to church where they wish in peace. Now if they refused to remodel someone’s home based on their sexual preference, that would be an entirely different story…

    • J. Davis says:

      They HAVE NOT hosted any LGBTQ couples on their show, not a single couple. Whoever is making these casting decisions are bigoted based on these actions alone.

  11. Male says:

    this is so wrong… you cannot hold these people or the network responsible for their pastor’s beliefs or teachings. The story is inflammatory at best. What’s next ?? I listened to Joel Olsteen one time in the gym so now I am a homo-phobe?? how is this news or even a report of any kind? Persecuting someone for their right to have an opinion is why Donald Trump is president.

  12. Barbara Adams says:

    When is it a bad thing for a pastor to preach what the Bible says? I applaud the Gaines for attending a real church that preaches God’s word instead of what’s “politically correct”. Of course Christians love the homosexuals, whether we agree with their lifestyle or not. We didn’t write the Bible and we don’t have the right to alter it! We love you Chip and Joanna, stay strong in your faith.

  13. Kammy says:

    Why is their personal belief even an issue? So what if they believe in God’s word? I hope they do not bend their beliefs for what is considered “popular” and stay strong! There’s a bigger power trying their best to rid the world of God and make the believers feel shunned for being “racist”. They make what is good appear bad and what is obviously bad, appear good. Be weary and stay strong, Chip and Jo!

  14. Ric Canizares says:

    Perhaps your show does not discriminate against LGBTQ people. I’m sure your wouldn’t be able to get away with such behavior for long. However, you attend a church and support a preacher that believes LGBTQ people are fundamentally flawed (how did god make this mistake) and don’t deserve the same life as good, hetero, Christian believers. Not sure I’ll be able to watch your show again. All I will see are bigots who smile, embrace, and “love” people during the work week, only to stab them in the back on Sunday.

    • Tarryn says:

      There is nothing in this article that says that the preacher teaches that gay people don’t deserve the same rights as other human beings. He said that it is against God’s law according to the bible. That’s factual whether you believe and adhere to the bible or not. Secondly, if you actually did watch the show, you’d know that they’ve had same sex couples on there so please put a mirror in front of your face before you call someone a bigot for not having the same exact belief that you do. You sound like a fool.

    • Matthew says:

      If you read the pure, bigoted hatred written above by Ric Canizares, you will understand why Trump won the election. I was baffled as to how a person like Trump could get millions of votes, and then I read the crap like what Canizares wrote and I see the outrage of ordinary people getting called names and having their livelihood threatened by something as idiotic as what SOMEONE ELSE may have said to them, and in a sad way, I am very glad that Trump won. People like Ric Canizares are directly responsible for Trump’s rise and the new Supreme Court members he’ll pick. Tolerance my ass.

    • William P says:

      Boo-hoo snowflake. I fed a homeless man in my house once, since that was the “company I keep,” I guess that makes me homeless as well, despite living in a $1.8 million dollar house.

  15. Heath Curry says:

    “We can change, contrary to what you hear,” Seibert continued “I’ve worked with people for over 30 years — I have seen hundreds of people personally change their direction of same-sex attraction from a homosexual lifestyle to a heterosexual lifestyle. It doesn’t mean they don’t struggle with feelings, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t hurting, it doesn’t mean it’s not challenging. But they have chosen to change. And there has always been grace there for those who choose that.”
    “change their direction”
    “it doesn’t mean they aren’t hurting”
    If this guy had any training in social work, mental health counseling or just being a human being, these words would mean something and he would understand what he is saying, and that what he believes is wrong.
    It is wrong to impose on other people, this horrifying practice, most frequently performed on young children and young adults.
    Conversion therapy is a crime, it is abuse, it is torture.
    Being gay is not a “direction” it is an absolute fundamental part of one’s sexuality, which is intrinsically and inexorably linked to one’s self-worth, emotional well-being and the ability to form healthy relationships, both platonic and sexual, with others.
    This pastor and those who believe his snake oil sales pitch should be condemned and repudiated.
    Now, not all who attend church believe verbatim what is taught at that church, but if what is taught is harmful and abusive to a whole swath of society, you have an obligation to disassociate yourself from those affiliations or accept by proxy, those beliefs.
    As the old saying goes, you can tell a lot about a man by the company he keeps.
    Churches are a place of fellowship, you don’t attend a church where you have nothing in common with the parishioners and their theology.

    • Tired of hearing about your uglies. Tired of your uglies in my face and in my politics. Get over it.

    • Clarkson says:

      You do know there have been THOUSANDS of successful gay conversations, right? Look up the ex-gay websites and read some of the stories. Of course, the agenda doesn’t want that out. They only want lollipops and heroic gays that never die on TV. And hush on that HIV, syphilis stuff, that is for only a select few and shame on anyone in the health care industry that dares mention it.

      • J. Davis says:

        Anyone who believes in gay conversion therapy should be SHOT. It’s nothing more than psychological torture. Sit down, shut your ignorant mouth and stay in your lane.

      • Adusoron says:

        Mr. Bethell, you are factually incorrect. Since homsexuality is ultimately a lifestyle and sexual practice choice, many people can and do choose to turn away from it and lead healthy, shame-free lives. The pastor of the Gaines’ church is ultimately saying that people who seek biblical counseling, and an honest desire to turn to Christ’s teachings, can turn from it.

        If you really want to learn more about this, I encourage you to read Rosaria Butterfield’s “The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert.” Rosaria (and many like her) is/are living proof that your assertion is incorrect. She was a practicing lesbian and liberal arts professor who ended up in a very different place years later and tells her story.

      • Clarkson, there are plenty of “gay conversations” all over the world, every minute of every day.
        As for gay conversions, there are none, not one, but there are plenty of gay men and women forced back into the closet through sheer fear; it is these poor frightened people you are shamelessly claiming to be changed.
        As for HIV, Syphilis ‘stuff’, you’ll find worldwide, the majority of people catching and spreading those diseases are in fact heterosexual, but hey, don’t let facts stop your homophobic fantasy.

  16. sparkle808 says:

    Why does it seem the only ones who have a “right to free speech”
    are the liberals and far-left? This is still America. If the Gaines believe
    it’s wrong then they have a right to believe what they do. I also believe
    it’s wrong, but I don’t force anyone else to believe what I do. I’ve heard
    of people losing businesses they’ve had for years because somebody’s
    “feelings were hurt” because the business owners held strong convictions
    that certain lifestyles were wrong. They even offered to help them find
    another business that could offer the service they needed but instead
    of acting like adults this “offended” couple went out and hired a lawyer
    to eventually put these people out of business. HGTV take notice. There
    are more people offended with you for being wishy-washy than you know.
    Even homosexuals have commented in other places that they
    believe everyone has a right to voice their own opinions and beliefs, even
    if there is strong disagreement with someone else. Keep going in that
    direction, HGTV, and you are going to lose your biggest audiences
    because you bow down to every loud mouthed group that comes along.
    The Gaines show is not a religious program or a social program. It is simply
    a home improvement program that many people love. Leave them alone!

    • Richard Beckwith says:

      Are you speaking as a practicing gay person with factual verifiable documentation, or just giving your opinion?

  17. Donald LeRoy says:

    I am ex-military and fought for EVERYONES right, Liberal and Conservative. WE ALL have first amendment rights to freedom of speech and freedom of religion, NOT just those with certain views.

    We are an America who must tolerate people who say stupid things, and people who burn the very flag which represents their right to hate it and burn it, it is who we are as a country.

    You must allow these people their freedoms as well, at least that is my opinion and I am protected by our constitution to express it. Please express yours as well, even if you don’t agree.

    As for these folks, change the channel if you don’t agree with them, it is your right as well.

  18. Peggy B says:

    LBGT have what they wanted and now they need to just tend to their own business and leave the rest of us alone. they are not interested in anyone else but themselves and FORCING everyone to believe like they do. So intolerant that if they keep it upthe rest of us are going to rebel just as we have against PC and the progressive agenda. I truely enjoy the Gaines and it is so refreshing to see a decent loving couple and their family. They haved done nothing to hurt you.

    • Milton says:

      Seems like the homosexuals would be more interested in their syphilis epidemic and rising aids numbers, but instead, they want to know who preaches what in churches they do not attend. This story is exactly why we have Trump. Repulsive.

  19. K Lowy says:

    Enough, before you try to destroy Hallmark Channel too…the safe haven for anyone worn out by the CTRL-Left thought police.

    • Richard Beckwith says:

      No we have trump because the morals, values, character and integrity in our country have been eroded and replaced with an attitude of greed and win at all cost. In conjunction with the fear of white men in this country that they are losing their strangle hold and are no longer the majority. President Obama getting elected not once but twice, really shook them up. Primarily fueled by those less than 500 people who control 90% of the wealth of this country. Pitting the middle class against the poor and creating the classic divide and conquer situation. While the poor and middle classes are fighting for the crumbs they keep running away with the whole loaf. How do they accomplish that? By pitting the gays against the straits, the blacks against the whites, the skinny against those over weight, the young against the old, the under or uneducated against the educated. All the while manipulating things from behind the scenes and fattening their pockets. While they run the big con.

  20. Adusoron says:

    1. This gay group, with the help of some mainstream media outfits, is engaging in classic “guilt by association.” Remember when President Obama attended a church in which the pastor screamed “God damn America!!” during one of his sermons? The media ridiculed assigning that viewpoint to Obama as a congregant as guilt-by-association McCarthyism. How is this present scenario any different? Answer: it isn’t any different.

    2. Even if Chip and Joanna do agree with the church’s teachings, it is their constitutional 1st amendment right to worship freely, and freely exercise their deeply held beliefs. HGTV should not have to answer about their privately held beliefs. Chip and Joanna should not have to defend their beliefs. This isn’t Orwell’s “1984.” We don’t have thought-crime.

    3. What ever happened to tolerance and respect for people despite strong disagreements on the issues? Even the Supreme Court recognized there is legitimate debate and deeply held beliefs on this issue in the 2015 Orbergefell case. These folks clearly ignored that. Why can’t elements of the gay movement practice what they preached for so long. Decades ago it was “please tolerate us, we’re different.” Now it is “you will agree with us and celebrate us or you will be shamed/fired/threatened.” How is that kind of thinking any different than a totalitarian communist country (like Soviet Russia) did to free speech/religious freedom?

    4. Characterizing your opponent’s argument as “hatred” or “bigotry” is not a response argument. It signals you don’t have anything to bring to the table. It signals you don’t have any evidence and you are actually so narrowminded you cannot conceive of measured and reasonable disagreement with your own viewpoint. Nay, pulling out a tired trump card to shame your opponent instead of trying to convince him and listen to him, exposes you.

    • Cole says:

      Well said! You are spot on.

      • Richard Beckwith says:

        Good points and well presented. We who are the followers of Jesus, know that we are called to walk in God’s Word. We are not called to force his Word on anyone else, just as we are not called to take certain scriptures out of the bible and misrepresent them to serve our own bias. For those who want to focus on the sin of homosexuality, God’s Word is crystal when it speaks on this subject. It is just as clear that no one sin is greater than another in God’s eyes, sexual sin is all sin. So for all of those who are Shacking up, committing adultery, fornication, engaging in sexual activity outside of a legal marriage, indulging in porno, divorcing one and moving to another partner, all of these behaviors are against God’s Word. When they brought the women to Jesus who they accused of sexual sin, note that they didn’t bring the man, his response was “he who is without sin let him cast the first stone”. They all walked away, because we all have sinned and fallen short. Jesus didn’t condemn this woman, he forgave her and told her to do better. How can we speak on the splinter in someone else’s eye when we have a log in our own eye. Quit trying to help God out, he doesn’t need it. We, as followers of Jesus, are called to love everyone, including our enemies. It doesn’t say anything about liking everyone. I show love to folks all the time I may not particularly like.

      • Calm says:

        Adusoron, OUTSTANDING reply.

      • me says:

        Or, as in this case, it simply means that your “opponent’s” argument is simply hatred and bigotry. Cuz that’s a possibility too.

        Nice try though.

  21. Cole says:

    They should be able to make whatever show they want to make. Gay people make pro Gay lifestyle shows that straight people are forced to watch so why should they not be able to choose whether they want to support a culture they don’t believe in? It’s ridiculous. What’s next Gay Disney Channel? Come on folks. Give it a rest.

  22. James Seibert says:

    Why haven’t they featured any LBGT couples? Several have applied…

    HGTV can’t have it both ways. Either allow Chip and Jo to herald their views that gay marriage is wrong (which they do believe) and back them for being allowed to hold their own views OR stop pretending that the show is inclusive, which it’s not.

    • Turner says:

      I saw two silly lesbians on there once, so perhaps you need to actually KNOW what you’re talking about before spewing your hatred and bigotry to a nice TV couple.

  23. Vic Nardozza says:

    Anyone who goes to a church that preaches anti-gay sentiment obviously holds prejudices against the gay community. Otherwise they wouldn’t attend, especially with the 1000s of other churches available. HGTV should immediately cancel Fixer Upper.

  24. I appreciate that HGTV is taking the stand to not comment on their hosts private lives!

    • Richard Beckwith says:

      God’s Word is anti gay, just like it’s anti hate, anti discrimination, anti female and children abuse, anti dehumanization. The relationship between the homosexual or lesbian and God is between them and God. As followers of Jesus we don’t condone the behavior, however we are still called to love the person and let them work out their relationship with the Father. The Church is supposed to speak out about sin of all types. It is also a hospital, sick people come to hospitals looking to get healed. The healing is in the Word of God. We are not called to force this belief on anyone, which is why we have been cautioned in God’s Word not to cast our pearls before swine. We are to spread the good news, we serve a living God, not force it down your throat.

    • Peggy B says:

      Right on Sue

    • Vic Nardozza says:

      So I guess if they were Nazis then HGTV shouldn’t comment because it’s their private lives? What rubbish. Being members of the Antioch Community Church is being a part of a hate group.

      • me says:

        Calling someone a “hateful idiot” really identifies you as the same.

        I also notice you didn’t (and can’t) argue with the point they made. Because it’s true.

      • Peggy B says:

        they have never put gays down on their show nor have they tried to preach their views to you so why are you watching them except to find a reason to be hateful!

      • Becks says:

        Hateful idiots like you, Vic, are EXACTLY why Trump is the new president. People are sick of fake outrage like yours.

  25. I won’t be watching that show anymore. From what I have been reading lately, it’s all fake anyway.

    • Richard Beckwith says:

      Vic, the virtue and beauty of living in this country is that we have these freedoms to speak our mind and have different opinions from others. When we do it shouldn’t be met with violence, verbally or otherwise. Read the constitution. No one person or segment in this country gets to determine what is and isn’t patriotism. BTW, where and when did you serve to protect these precious freedoms?

    • Genevieve says:

      I am sure they are crying and losing sleep because you aren’t watching anymore. (If you ever watched at all)

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