UNIVERSAL CITY, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 17: Actress Candace Cameron Bure visit Hallmark Channel's
The Full House alum’s comments about how the Great American Family network will "keep traditional marriage at the core" of its storytelling has sparked backlash from celebrities and LGBTQ advocates. (Photo: Paul Archuleta/Getty Images)

Candace Cameron Bure is defending herself, after she was criticized on multiple fronts for saying that she ditched Hallmark to partner with faith-based network Great American Family because it promises to "keep traditional marriage" — between a man and woman — "at the core."

"I would like to address my comments on Great American Family’s programming as reported in the Wall Street Journal," she wrote Wednesday on social media. (Read the full text of her statement below.) "All of you who know me, know beyond question that I have great love and affection for all people. It absolutely breaks my heart that anyone would ever think I intentionally would want to offend and hurt anyone. It saddens me that the media is often seeking to divide us, even around a subject as comforting and merry as Christmas movies. But, given the toxic climate in our culture right now, I shouldn’t be surprised. We need Christmas more than ever."

Characterizing herself as a "devoted Christian," the actress said she said her comments were filtered through her religious beliefs.

"To the members of the media responsible for using this opportunity to fan flames of conflict and hate, I have a simple message: I love you anyway. To those who hate what I value and who are attacking me online: I love you. To those who have tried to assassinate my character: I love you. To everyone reading this, of any race, creed, sexuality, or political party, including those who have tried to bully me with name-calling, I love you. … And in the sole motivation of pure love, I hope you’ll join me in sharing God’s hope for all the world this Christmas season. Call that my Christmas wish."

The Full House alum, 46, had a long-running relationship making holiday movies for Hallmark, but left ahead of it releasing its first gay-led holiday film. She made her controversial comments in a Wall Street Journal story published Monday, while promoting her upcoming Christmas movie on GAF.

"My heart wants to tell stories that have more meaning and purpose and depth behind them," said Bure, who’s also been named chief creative officer at the company. "I knew that the people behind Great American Family were Christians that love the Lord and wanted to promote faith programming and good family entertainment."

Jonathan Bennett, who stars in the Hallmark movie The Holiday Sitter featuring the same-sex romance, is one of the celebrities and LGBTQ advocates speaking out.

"I’m just proud to be part of Hallmark channel that is doing so much inclusive programming like The Holiday Sitter, which is an LGBTQ+ led Christmas movie," the Mean Girls actor, who married Jaymes Vaughan earlier this year, told E! News on Tuesday. "I’m just so proud to be on Hallmark channel that’s making these movies for everyone, because Christmas is for everyone and Hallmark channels are for everyone." He added that the film has "so much heart" and "humor" and predicts audiences will love it.

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation has issued a statement about Bure’s "irresponsible" same-sex marriage comments.

"It’s irresponsible and hurtful for Candace Cameron Bure to use tradition as a guise for exclusion," GLAAD’s President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said. "I’d love to have a conversation with Bure about my wife, our kids, and our family’s traditions. Bure is out of sync with a growing majority of people of faith, including LGBTQ people of faith, who know that LGBTQ couples and families are deserving of love and visibility."

🧵It’s irresponsible and hurtful for Candace Cameron Bure to use tradition as a guise for exclusion. I’d love to have a conversation with Bure about my wife, our kids, and our family’s traditions. Bure is out of sync with a growing majority of people of faith,

Ellis called Bure’s comments "harmful and insulting" to the company’s LGBTQ employees as well as employees with LGBTQ friends and family.

"If GAF’s plan is to intentionally exclude stories about LGBTQ couples, then actors, advertisers, cable and streaming platforms, and production companies should take note and seriously consider whether they want to be associated with a network that holds exclusion as one of its values," Ellis wrote.

If GAF’s plan is to intentionally exclude stories about LGBTQ couples, then actors, advertisers, cable and streaming platforms, and production companies should take note

and seriously consider whether they want to be associated with a network that holds exclusion as one of its values.

Hilarie Burton, JoJo Siwa and more criticized her words, too.

Burton, of One Tree Hill fame, saw a headline with Bure’s comments and called her a "bigot. I don’t remember Jesus liking hypocrites like Candy. But sure. Make your money, honey. You ride that prejudice wave all the way to the bank."

Siwa then entered the conversation, writing on Instagram, "Honestly, I can’t believe after everything that went down just a few months ago, that she would not only create a movie with intention of excluding LGBTQIA+, but then also talk about it in the press. This is rude and hurtful to a whole community of people."

"Everything that went down" was a reference to Siwa and Bure making headlines earlier this year after Siwa posted a TikTok video calling the Fuller House alum the "rudest" celebrity she’s ever met after a past encounter. They later spoke privately.

Bure’s TV sister Jodie Sweetin joined the conversation by throwing support Siwa’s way. "You know I love you," she wrote to the singer, who came out in 2021, after she slammed Bure for creating "a movie with [the] intention of excluding LGBTQIA+" people.

(Screenshot: JoJo Siwa via Instagram)

Bure’s gotten support from her 24-year-old daughter, Natasha Bure, who praised her for "continuously choosing Christ before all."

In April, it was reported that Bure had left the Hallmark Channel, after 14 years as the unofficial queen of Christmas due to her countless holiday movies, for the role at Great American Family. She’ll produce religious titles under the "Candace Cameron Bure Presents" banner, and is involved in content creation and curation across many genres.

Candace Cameron Bure is appearing in the Great American Family movie A Christmas…Present. (Photo: Great American Media)

Bure recruited Lori Loughlin, the Full House actress involved in the college admissions scandal, for movie on the network. She also brought over Danica McKellar, who is best known as Winnie Cooper from The Wonder Years.

Bure will star in A Christmas… Present for GAF premiering Nov. 27.

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Here’s the full text of Bure’s statement on Wednesday:

“I would like to address my comments on Great American Family’s programming as reported in the Wall Street Journal. All of you who know me, know beyond question that I have great love and affection for all people. It absolutely breaks my heart that anyone would ever think I intentionally would want to offend and hurt anyone. It saddens me that the media is often seeking to divide us, even around a subject as comforting and merry as Christmas movies. But, given the toxic climate in our culture right now, I shouldn’t be surprised. We need Christmas more than ever.

“I am a devoted Christian. Which means that I believe that every human being bears the image of God. Because of that, I am called to love all people, and I do. If you know me, you know that I am a person who loves fiercely and indiscriminately. My heart yearns to build bridges and bring people one step closer to God, to love others well, and to simply be a reflection of God’s huge love for all of us.

“To the members of the media responsible for using this opportunity to fan flames of conflict and hate, I have a simple message: I love you anyway. To those who hate what I value and who are attacking me online: I love you. To those who have tried to assassinate my character: I love you. To everyone reading this, of any race, creed, sexuality, or political party, including those who have tried to bully me with name-calling, I love you.

“I have long wanted to find a home for more faith-based programming. I am grateful to be an integral part of a young and growing network.I had also expressed in my interview, which was not included, that people of all ethnicities and identities have and will continue to contribute to the network in great ways both in front of and behind the camera, which I encourage and fully support. I’ve never been interested in proselytizing through my storytelling, but in celebrating God’s greatness in our lives through the stories I tell.

“The God we serve is a wildly creative and loving God. He didn’t just capture a small part of my heart, He has captured all of my heart. He will be reflected in everything I do and say; in my family, my work and my interactions with people from all walks of life, God’s love and God’s compassion is front and center. All of that comes from the LOVE that God himself showered upon humanity when he gave the gift of joy and forgiveness on the first Christmas morning 2000 years ago. It is why I love Christmas stories and sharing true joy and true peace with millions of people around the world. And in the sole motivation of pure love, I hope you’ll join me in sharing God’s hope for all the world this Christmas season. Call that my Christmas wish.”