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Chip and Joanna Gaines' pastor responds to report saying church has anti-gay stance


"Fixer Upper" fans truly love Chip and Joanna Gaines for more than their renovation skills, but this news might be quite shocking to some.

The Gaineses are devout Christians and attend Antioch Community Church in Waco, Texas. According to a report from BuzzFeed, their pastor and Jimmy Seibert is vocal about his belief that homosexuality is a "lifestyle" choice and a "sin." He reportedly is very against same-sex marriage and also allegedly promotes the idea of converting members of the LGBT community into being straight.

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In a recent sermon, Seibert claimed "the statistics say that 90% of people who are in a full-blown homosexual lifestyle were abused in some way. Physically, sexually, mentally," and "(you can) help (LGBTQ people) direct their passions rightly to how God created them."

 He also reportedly called the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision to legalize same sex marriage "a biblical admonition."

"So if someone were to say, ‘Marriage is defined in a different way,’ let me just say: They are wrong," he said. "God defined marriage, not you and I. God defined masculine and feminine, male and female, not you and I."

It is unclear if Chip and Joanna Gaines actually agree with Seibert’s stance on homosexuality and same-sex marriage. BuzzFeed claims that when it reached out to the couple via their company, Magnolia, and HGTV, messages were not returned.

Fans responded to the piece with criticism. One wrote an opinion piece in The Washigton Post criticising the story and said in a tweet that the BuzzFeed story was "ridiculous" and "a non-story."

BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith responded to the backlash on Twitter Wednesday, saying "This is a story about a big company, HGTV, refusing to say whether they ban LGBT people from a TV show. They should just answer the question."

HGTV responded to the controversy in a statement to The Huffington Post Thursday, saying, “We don’t discriminate against members of the LGBT community in any of our shows. HGTV is proud to have a crystal clear, consistent record of including people from all walks of life in its series.”

Antioch Community Church did not comment on whether the Gaineses believe what Seibert claims, but did direct questions about the pastor’s stance on homosexuality to the church’s website.

"Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime," the website reads.

The church has reportedly held the same position on the matter since Seibert founded it 17 years ago.

Seibert told Fox News Thursday that the claim made by BuzzFeed is not true.

"We are not only not anti-gay, but we are pro-helping people in their journey to find out who God is and who He has made them to be," he said. "For us, our heart has always been to love Jesus, preach the word of God and help people in their journey."


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