Church stages homophobic production of Hamilton while comparing being gay to drug addiction

Lin Manuel Miranda, who plays Alexander Hamilton looks off into the distant wearing a brown jacket and cream waistcoat.

A Texas church has staged a homophobic rendition of Hamilton that concluded with its pastor comparing being gay to being addicted to drugs or alcohol.

The production was live-streamed on Friday (5 August) by RGV Productions, which works with The Door Christian Fellowship Ministries of McAllen.

The performance included biblical references not originally included in the musical.

Hamilton is the award-winning, diverse retelling of US founding father Alexander Hamilton, standing for “tolerance, compassion, inclusivity, and certainly LGBTQ+ rights.”

Howard Sherman, director of the Arts Integrity Initiative at The New School in New York City, condemned the “illegal” performance in a series of tweets.

Sherman claimed the church’s unauthorised performance was a “blatant copyright violation”, and attacked the production for adding an “anti-LGBTQ message.”

He added he respects “all faiths,” but accused The Door McAllen of “stealing material to serve their own purposes”.

Hermant Mehta, writer and atheism advocate documented the changed lyrics on Twitter.

Lyrics in the song “That Would Be Enough” were changed from a loving message from a wife to her husband, to words about giving Jesus “a chance”.

Parts of “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story” were changed from raising children to introducing “hundreds of children to Jesus” – among other alterations to the show’s iconic songs.

The livestream was followed by the church’s associate pastor Victor Lopez’s sermon “demonising homosexuality” – which Mehta also posted a portion of on Twitter.

“Maybe you struggle with alcohol, with drugs, with homosexuality, maybe you struggle with other things in life, your finances, whatever, God can help you tonight.”

On the Sunday (7 August) Roman Gutierrez, a pastor at the church, insisted the congregation is not anti-LGBTQ+.

He also stated the church had received legal permission from Hamilton to reproduce the show and had received a “licence”.

This has been denied by the team responsible for the original musical.

In a statement to Newsweek, a spokesperson for Hamilton said: “Hamilton does not grant amateur or professional licenses for any stage productions and did not grant one to The Door Church.

“On Saturday, August 6, we were made aware of the unauthorised staging of Hamilton by The Door Church in McAllen, TX that took place on Friday, August 5, and their plans for additional performances.

“We issued a cease and desist letter for the unauthorised use of Hamilton‘s intellectual property, demanding the immediate removal of all videos and images from previous productions from the internet, including YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, their own website, and elsewhere.”

The spokesperson also addressed the anti-LGBTQ+ sermon at the end of the musical.

“The Hamilton family stands for tolerance, compassion, inclusivity, and certainly LGBTQ+ rights,” the spokesperson wrote.

“We are in the process of reviewing the unauthorised changes made to the script to determine further action.”