Guardians of the Galaxy actor Chris Pratt has come to the defence of the Hillsong-affiliated Zoe Church after it was branded anti-LGBTQ+ by Ellen Page.
The actor released a statement on his Instagram account addressing criticism from Page and others about the church, insisting that any allegations of homophobia could not be
"further from the truth".
"I go to a church that opens their doors to absolutely everyone," he wrote on his Instagram Story. "Despite what the Bible says about divorce, my church community was there for me every step of the way, never judging, just gracefully accompanying me on my walk.
"They helped me tremendously offering love and support. It is what I have seen them do for others on countless occasions regardless of sexual orientation, race or gender."
Pratt also insisted that while he considers himself to be a spiritual person, no single church "defines" his belief system.
"My values define who I am," he said. "We need less hate in the world, not more. I am a man who believes that everyone is entitled to love who they want free from judgement of their fellow man."
The LEGO Movie 2 star recently spoke about his faith on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. The Hollywood Reporter later tweeted: "Fresh from fasting, @prattprattpratt talks about his spiritual side."
Page then pointed out that the Hillsong Church is "infamously anti-LGBTQ", writing on Twitter: "Oh. K. Um. But his church is infamously anti lgbtq so maybe address that too?"
Oh. K. Um. But his church is infamously anti lgbtq so maybe address that too? https://t.co/meg8m69FeF- Ellen Page (@EllenPage) February 8, 2019
Hillsong’s leader Brian Houston said in a statement in 2015: "Hillsong Church welcomes ALL people but does not affirm all lifestyles.
"Put clearly, we do not affirm a gay lifestyle and because of this we do not knowingly have actively gay people in positions of leadership, either paid or unpaid."
Ellen recently made an impassioned speech about homophobia on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, following an attack on Empire star Jussie Smollett, which his family condemned as "a racial and homophobic hate crime".
Page said: "In terms of the level of misogyny and homophobia I’ve dealt with, it’s been really unfortunate. It was very hard for me and I dealt with a lot of stuff that was totally normalised since really young.
"It feels impossible to not feel this way right now with the President and Vice President Mike Pence, who wishes I couldn’t be married, let’s just be clear. The Vice President of America wishes I didn’t have the love with my wife. He wanted to ban that in Indiana. He believes in conversion therapy."
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