Ellen DeGeneres is laughing off a pastor who criticized the talk-show host for, in his words, "celebrating her lesbianism and her 'marriage'" as part of an entertainment industry with a "gay agenda."
DeGeneres addressed the remarks during the monologue of her talk show Wednesday. "The only way I'm trying to influence people is to be more kind and compassionate with one another; that's the message I'm sending out," she said, prompting applause and cheers from her studio audience. "I don't have an agenda."
In a Jan. 8 op-ed column in the Washington, D.C.-based Christian Post, pastor Larry Tomczak railed against the entertainment industry, gay-rights organizations and others for supporting a "gay agenda" and the LGBTQ community. "The indoctrination and propaganda coming from those advocating a gay lifestyle in our country, classrooms and culture are increasing," he wrote. "All of us need to take note and take action to guard those we love."
He went on to list more than a dozen references to LGBTQ culture on television, including "Glee," "Modern Family" and the "Ellen" show, which he claims "celebrates her lesbianism and 'marriage' in between appearances of guests like Taylor Swift to attract young girls."
On her talk show Wednesday, DeGeneres said she doesn't usually read stories about herself in the tabloids or online "unless it's about me being pregnant, and then how else would I know?" But she made an exception to rebut Tomczak's claims.
"Let's just break this down: First of all, I'm not 'married,' I'm married. That's all," she said, earning audience applause.
DeGeneres added that she didn't know what it means to celebrate "lesbianism," then joked, "Well, I guess I do." Pulling a party favor from her jacket pocket, she set it off and shouted, "I'm gay!"
In reference to Tomczak's list of non-straight relationships on television, DeGeneres noted, "If you ask me, Larry's watching a lot of gay TV."
She also poked fun at his solution to watch more "wholesome" television alternatives, including "I Love Lucy." Retorted DeGeneres, "It's not like 'I Love Lucy' is a great example for kids: She's shoving all that chocolate in her mouth; that's not good for kids."
She ended her monologue by pretending to brainwash her audience with the help of a supposedly hypnotic, swirling "vortex" she twirled in her hand.
"Listen to the sound of my voice," she 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. The second-most important thing is that you wear Ellen underwear, and only Ellen underwear. And now, audience, look into my vortex and dance with me."
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