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Originally published on January 5, 2017.
 
Gospel singer Kim Burrell continues to suffer the consequences of her fire and brimstone sermon, attacking down-low gay people in the church.

Burrell's sermon at her Houston church last Friday was captured on video and has since gone viral on social media.

"I came to tell you about sin," Burrell said. "That perverted homosexual spirit is a spirit of delusion and confusion and has deceived many men and women, and it has caused a strain on the body of Christ."

She continued: "You, as a man, you open your mouth and take a man's penis in your face, you are perverted! You are a woman and will shake your face in another woman's breast, you are perverted!"

The reaction on social media was swift. Openly lesbian daytime talk show host Ellen DeGeneres canceled Burrell's appearance on her show. DeGeneres later said she didn't want to give Burrell a platform.

But not everyone is critical of Burrell.

When church member O'Rhonde Chapman first met Burrell, he said she opened her arms to him. O'Rhonde was an openly gay, cross-dressing student at Nimitz High School in Houston.

"Kim Burrell loves people," Chapman told Houston CBS affiliate KHOU. "[Burrell] supported me, embraced me, encouraged me and inspired me to be all that I have become today," he added.

O'Rhonde endured years of bullying by other classmates when he joined Burrell's Life and Liberty Fellowship Church.

"I was openly gay at the time," he said. "So [she] embraced me. She didn't shun me. She didn't have hatred towards me. She treated me in a way that I was supposed to be treated."

O'Rhonde defended Burrell's freedom of speech, saying the problem wasn't the content of her message but the way her message was received by hand-wringing liberals.

He said Burrell's message was "every bit of pure—no matter how it's being received."
 
Update July 23, 2022:

O'Rhonde, 30, is a fashion designer, stylist, fashion expert and entrepreneur, residing in Atlanta, Ga. He is a national reporter for Newsweek magazine.

O'Rhonde credits Kim Burrell with helping him convert from a cross-dressing gay male to a heterosexual.

Contact Info:

Email: rhonde1017@gmail.com
Twitter: @ORhondeChapman
Instagram: @ORhondeChapman

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Saweetie commented on homophobia in rap after fellow rapper DaBaby was "canceled" for uttering anti-ghey and anti-HIV comments at Rolling Loud festival in Miami.

Saweetie insists people should "respect each other" as all humans are the same regardless of gender identity or sexual preference.

Getty Images via Victoria Ford

The curvaceous rapper (pictured far right) says all people are "equal" and calls for more to be done to stop the spread of hate toward LGBT+ people.

Speaking about her LGBTQ fans, Saweetie tells PEOPLE:

"I think that it's important that we all respect each other. We all bleed the same. We're all human beings. I was raised in a household that believes in respecting everyone, no matter who they are, no matter what they do, because at the end of the day, we're all equal.

"We all need to call out what we're uncomfortable with. We need to call out what we stand for and for what we believe is right."

Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for McDonald's

The rapper's growing popularity landed her a corporate sponsorship and her own Saweetie Meal from McDonald's.

Saweetie's comments come after DaBaby deleted his apology that his publicist wrote to the LGBT+ community on his Instagram page.

The post read:

"I want to apologize to the LGBTQ+ community for the hurtful and triggering comments I made. Again, I apologize for my misinformed comments about HIV/AIDS and I knew education on this is important. Love to all. God bless."

The rapper was widely criticized for his original comments about HIV and AIDS. He has lost millions in endorsements and summer festival bookings.

Rich Fury/Getty Images

DaBaby said on stage:

"If you didn't show up today with HIV, AIDS, or any of them deadly sexually-transmitted diseases, that'll make you die in two to three weeks, then put your cell phone lighter up...

"Fellas, if you ain't sucking d**k in the parking lot, put your cell phone lighter up."

Steve Jennings/FilmMagic

Embattled rapper DaBaby apparently deleted his official apology to the LGBT+ community from his Instagram page.

The formal apology was posted to DaBaby's IG page last week -- before he was dropped from the Lollapalooza lineup and replaced with rapper Young Thug.

DaBaby was "canceled" after uttering anti-HIV and anti-LGBT+ comments during his set at Rolling Loud music festival in Miami last month.

He has since lost lucrative summer concert gigs including the Governors Ball, Parklife, Day N Vegas, ACL Fest, and the iHeartRadio Music Festival, among others.

Gerardo Mora/Getty Images

On Friday, Aug. 6, it was announced singer Ne-Yo will replace DaBaby in the lineup at the Can't Wait Live concert scheduled for Friday, Aug. 13, in Philadelphia.

The 29-year-old rapper reportedly refused to meet with LGBT+ and HIV/AIDS groups to develop a comprehensive anti-stigma HIV and LGBT+ campaign.
 
READ ALSO: DaBaby rejects calls by LGBT+ and HIV/AIDS Organizations to meet
 
GLAAD published an open letter to DaBaby on its website.

The organization asked DaBaby to "be a powerful and influential voice" within the Black community and to "become an agent of truth and change."

LGBT+ groups fear DaBaby, whose real name is Jonathan Kirk, has sabotaged their efforts to raise HIV awareness and decrease LGBT+ stigma in the Black community.

Rich Fury/Getty Images

Earlier this month, it was reported that rapper DaBaby did not respond to requests from LGBT+ groups to help create an HIV awareness and anti-stigma campaign targeting Black males.

DaBaby was "canceled" after uttering anti-HIV and anti-LGBT+ comments during his set at Rolling Loud music festival in Miami last month.

In addition to the PSA campaign, the "Suge" rapper was asked by music festival organizers to record a video of his "sincere and heartfelt" apology to the LGBT+ community.

According to industry insiders, DaBaby agreed to record a video in which he planned to confess that he was "touched" by a male family acquaintance as a child.

That incident reportedly fueled his longstanding hostility and resentment toward homosexuals as an adult.

READ ALSO: Elton John Drives the Final Nail Into DaBaby's Rap Career

As reported by Billboard, a publicist for DaBaby reached out to seven fall festival promoters and assured them that the video was forthcoming.

Rich Fury/Getty Images

The apology video was to be played before he hit the stage at Lollapalooza. However, DaBaby missed the deadline to submit the video to Lollapalooza organizers for their approval.

He was dropped from the lineup and his slot was given to another rapper with feminine tendencies, Young Thug.

DaBaby has since lost lucrative gigs at other music festivals including Governors Ball, Parklife, Day N Vegas, ACL Fest, and the iHeartRadio Music Festival.

To control the significant damage to his rap career, DaBaby's publicist wrote a heartfelt apology to the LGBT+ community and shared it on the rapper's Instagram.

But the third party apology was too little, too late.
 

Rich Fury/Getty Images

DaBaby refuses to apologize for a 4th time for his anti-HIV, homophobic rant at Rolling Loud festival last week.

The 29-year-old rapper paused his set at Rolling Loud in Miami, saying:

"If you didn't show up today with HIV, AIDS, or any of them deadly sexually transmitted diseases, that'll make you die in two to three weeks, then put your cellphone lighter up.

"Ladies, if your p**sy smell like water, put your cellphone lighter up. Fellas, if you ain't sucking d**k in the parking lot, put your cellphone lighter up."

DaBaby's second and third apologies were met with more outrage since he clearly was not remorseful.

He dug in his heels as A-list celebrities such as Elton John and Madonna dragged him.

Rich Fury/Getty Images

Then he was dropped from the upcoming Governors Ball and Lollapalooza.

As the intense outrage and fallout continued, DaBaby's publicist issued a formal apology on Monday for "hurtful" and "triggering" comments.

The lengthy apology included soothing, damage control language such as:

"Social media moves so fast that people want to demolish you before you even have the opportunity to grow, educate and learn from your mistakes. As a man who has had to make his own way from very difficult circumstances, having people I know publicly working against me — knowing that what I needed was education on these topics and guidance — has been challenging."

However, the publicist's apology only made the rapper's critics declare that his publicist's apology is not accepted.

The comments were turned off on the Instagram post, but critics weighed in on Twitter.com.

Dan MacMedan/WireImage

Kate Winslet opened up about "well known" celebrities who are hiding their LGBT+ status due to "homophobia" in Hollywood.

In a recent interview, the "Titanic" actress spoke about "stigma" in Hollywood that terrifies celebrities.

Winslet, 45, said well-known stars are afraid to come out of the closet because they will lose out on straight roles.

"I cannot tell you the number of young actors I know — some well known, some starting out — who are terrified their sexuality will be revealed and that it will stand in the way of their being cast in straight roles," she said. "Now that's f***ed up."

"I'm telling you," she continued. "A well-known actor has just got an American agent and the agent said, 'I understand you are bisexual. I wouldn't publicist that.' I can think of at least four actors absolutely hiding their sexuality. It's painful. Because they fear being found out. And that's what they say. 'I don't want to be found out.'"

Winslet said the stigma applies more to males than females.

"It's bad news. Hollywood has to drop that dated crap of, 'Can he play straight because, apparently, he's gay?'"

"That should be almost illegal," she said. "You would not believe how widespread it is. And it can't just be distilled to the question about gay actors playing gay parts. Because actors, in some cases, are choosing not to come out for personal reasons. And it's nobody's business. Perhaps privacy. Perhaps conditioning and shame."

The LGBT+ community is particularly sensitive to straight actors playing LGBT+ roles.

"We could have had a conversation about how I feel about playing a lesbian and possibly taking that role from somebody," Winslet said. "But I'm done with not being honest about what my real opinions are, and I know the part was never offered to anybody else. In taking this part I had an opportunity to bring an LGBTQ story into living rooms."