American talk show host and entertainer Ellen DeGeneres has responded on Wednesday to criticisms made by a conservative pastor who claims that she is helping promote a "gay agenda."
Pastor Larry Tomczak wrote an op-ed column in the Christian Post on Jan. 8 accusing DeGeneres and other people within the entertainment industry of supporting a "gay agenda" and the LGBTQ community. He made the case on how Hollywood was "promoting homosexuality" in U.S. entertainment in an unhealthy manner.
"'Ellen DeGeneres' celebrates her lesbianism and 'marriage' in between appearances of guests like Taylor Swift to attract young girls," Tomczak wrote in regards to the entertainer.
Tomczak argued that God called such behavior "abominable" and that his mission was "to convey love and gospel truth in a winsome way to rescue those in deception." He even quoted a Bible passage from the Book of Ephesians to reinforce his points.
"Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible" (Eph. 5:11-13).
"I don't usually read anything about myself, but I heard there was an article written about me and I would like to address it right now," DeGeneres said.
DeGeneres first described her personal relationship with actress Portia de Rossi, whom she married in California back in August 2008 before the voter-approved Proposition 8 passed into law in November of that year, which defined marriage between one man and one woman in that state. A court validated their marriage as legal, given the fact the event took place before the proposition passed in the 2008 election; the proposition itself was overturned by the courts in 2013.
"First of all, I'm not 'married,'" she said. "I'm married. That's all, that's all, I'm just married."
Ellen originally revealed herself as a lesbian on the cover of Time magazine back in 1997 and previously had same-sex relationships with other women, most notably Anne Heche and Alexandra Hedison according to US Weekly.
"Larry, I don't even know what it means to celebrate my lesbianism. I mean. Well, I guess I do, it's like that!" DeGeneres said while pulling a party popper out of her pocket and popping it. "I'm gay!"
In his column, Tomczak cited shows as "Empire," "Glee," "Modern Family," "Scandal" and other modern television shows responsible for "promoting homosexuality." He argued that the entertainment industry is targeting children with its "gay agenda."
"Passivity is not an option," Tomczak wrote. "Check out how aggressive these well-funded and well-organized groups are in targeting innocent and impressionable children."
In response, DeGeneres skewered Tomczak's arguments, claiming that "Larry is watching a lot of gay TV." She contended that the only influence she wanted to convey to her viewers was a positive one.
"Larry, the only way I'm trying to influence people is to be more kind and compassionate with one another," DeGeneres said. "That is the message that I'm sending out. I don't have an agenda. I'm not here to brainwash anyone."
US Weekly noted that she ended her monologue by grabbing a spinning vortex and holding it up to the camera.
"Listen to the sound of my voice," DeGeneres said. "Attention youth of the world: I want you to live your lives being exactly who you are. Be true to yourself. The most important thing is to be true to yourself."
In concluding his article, Tomczak warned that the "deceptive" and "sophisticated" tactics used by Hollywood and other advocacy organizations would destroy the next generation.
"As 'salt' and 'light' Christians, we represent a bulwark against this tidal wave of unprecedented evil," Tomczak wrote. "May all of us be found faithful and vigilant at our posts."