A Texas church that changed the lyrics of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s smash hit Hamilton to reference Christianity and bash homosexuality, will be forced to pay an unspecified amount of damages for the unauthorized knockoff.
The Door Christian Fellowship Ministries in McAllen, Texas, live streamed a modified production of the the Tony Award-winning musical that concluded with a sermon that compared homosexuality to addiction.
“Maybe you struggle with alcohol, with drugs, homosexuality, maybe you struggle with other things in life, your finances, whatever, relationships. God can help you tonight,” Victor Lopez tacked on at the end of the performance.
Miranda blasted the production, which has been taken down, as “illegal” and “unauthorized” in a scathing tweet. “Now lawyers do their work,” he wrote. “And always grateful to the @dramatistsguild, who have the backs of writers everywhere, be it your first play or your fiftieth.”
The church will now be required to pay damages to the Broadway production, which will donate them to the South Texas Equality Project, a collective of LGBTQ advocate organizations in Texas.
The church’s head pastor, Roman Gutierrez, apologized in a statement on Tuesday.
“On behalf of The Door Christian Fellowship McAllen Church, I would like to personally apologize to the creator of Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda, the producers of Hamilton, and the numerous others who contributed their intellectual property to Hamilton, for staging an unauthorized production of Hamilton that infringed on the rights and copyrights of many,” the statement said.
The church clarified that they did not ask for or get permission to produce an altered version of the play, and acknowledged that they have an”obligation and responsibility to follow” copyright law.
“We agree we will never stage the performance again and will destroy any and all video or sound recordings and images of the unauthorized performances or rehearsals, and request that all our members do the same,” the statement concluded.