‘Fixer Upper’ Rumors: HGTV Releases Statement Saying ‘We Don’t Discriminate’ After Gaines’ Pastor Controversy

Chip and Joanna Gaines have enjoyed a bit of a successful run as of late, but the latest Fixer Upper rumors about HGTV’s newest power couple had them in the cross-hairs of controversy. After the couple’s pastor released a sermon that was anti-LGBT, HGTV was forced to release a statement both in defense of the couple and in defense of their policies.

That’s the word from Deadline, whose latest round of Fixer Upper rumors features a statement from the network released earlier today.

“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.”

While neither Chip Gaines nor his wife and co-star, Joanna, have taken a hard-line approach to same-sex marriage, they are members of the Antioch Community Church. The Gaines’ have come under fire for their participation because the church’s pastor, Rev. Jimmy Seibert (who also calls the Gaines’ “dear friends” of the church), has taken a hard-line anti-LGBT approach, insisting that marriage should only be between a man and a woman, and condemning homosexuality as a sin.

These latest Fixer Upper rumors have been making the rounds of the blogosphere because of a recent Buzzfeed article by Kate Aurthur, which featured the video below by the Rev. Siebert that preached in favor of the controversial conversion therapy for homosexuality.

This Buzzfeed article, which was later blasted by various sites on the web as being a “hit piece,” also pointed out that, to date, Chip and Joanna Gaines have not featured a same-sex couple on their show. (In contrast, shows like Property Brothers and House Hunters, both of which are also hits for the network, have prominently featured same-sex couples.) Aurthur’s article also questioned whether the Gaines’ refusal to feature a same-sex couple had to do with their affiliation with the church.

And while a spokesperson for Antioch Community Church made clear that she couldn’t speak on behalf of Chip and Joanna Gaines, the Rev. Seibert certainly had no problem making his point about the matter quite clear. Namely, that his church members shouldn’t be afraid to lose deals if it means being in line with their faith.

“Business leaders, you will have to be clear about who you are. And you will have to be willing to stand to lose even a deal or two or 10 or even lose your business. But if you’re not clear, you will have no leg to stand on down the road. If you think you’re going to get away with it in the short run, I promise you won’t in the long run, because the spirit demands submission.”

In a follow-up story for Buzzfeed addressing these very latest Fixer Upper rumors, while HGTV reiterated that they would not permit discrimination against same-sex couples on any of their shows, the Gaines’ don’t seem to be interested in featuring same-sex couples on their show due to their religious convictions, and pointed to Chip’s latest tweet as evidence of this.

But the latest Fixer Upper rumors from The Wrap have a very different take on the matter. The outlet recently spoke to the pastor at the center of the controversy, the Rev. Jimmy Siebert, and he refuted the claims that either he or his church are anti-gay.

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

What do you think of these latest Fixer Upper rumors? Leave your thoughts about the latest Fixer Upper rumors in the comments below.

[Featured Image by HGTV]