Renée Elise Goldsberry Hamilton

The Church Who Tried to Do Their Own Anti-LGBTQ ‘Hamilton?’ It Wasn’t Their First Rodeo

It’s been a strange time for musical theater fans. From Barlow & Bear getting sued by Netflix—for ignoring Netflix’s requests of them—to now a church deciding to just do their own version of Hamilton and change lyrics, it’s…weird! And maybe I’m just naive in knowing how licensing works, because I staged my own production of a musical in college, but there are plenty of hoops you have to go through in order to put on a show, and you can’t just…change things because you want to. So the fact that this is happening with Hamilton is honestly very strange and a little bit frightening.

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The Door Christian Fellowship Ministries of McAllen decided to spread an anti-LGTBQ message using the songs from Hamilton—which is part of an illegal production of the musical. The Washington Post reports that the Hamilton team did not give a license or permission for the production and so it begs the question: What is going on?

If you were wondering how the production went, this is how it concluded:

“He knows exactly what you’ve gone through,” Pastor Victor Lopez said. “You’ve gone through maybe broken marriages. 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. He wants to forgive you for your sins.”

This is…very much not allowed. And it’s all I’ve been seeing on my TikTok FYP because after everyone moved on from the Netfilx vs. Barlow and Bear drama, it turned to this (again, I do not know what’s going on with musical theatre please stop being in the news for bad reasons).

According to the Dallas Morning News, a pastor from The Door McAllen, said that the team behind Hamilton gave them the license to put on the show and was very clear in his words—which contradicts what the Hamilton team has said.

“Hamilton does not grant amateur or professional licenses for any stage productions and did not grant one to The Door Church,” the spokesperson said meaning that the church did not have the right to put on any sort of production of Hamilton and certainly not one that changes the lyrics and meaning of the show.

https://twitter.com/RyanWoodDFW/status/1556337239659106308?

But, this isn’t even their first time doing this to Hamilton

The church has used Hamilton as a template in the past, using the title song of “Alexander Hamilton” to usher in none other than Jesus Christ of Nazareth. So not only did they stage this full production now, but they’ve been changing the lyrics to songs from Hamilton to fit their anti-LGBTQ message for awhile (even though the pastor from the church said that the church isn’t against homosexuality and that “everyone is welcome.” Might want to tell that to this musical you just staged that compares “being gay to alcohol and drug addiction” according to OnStage Blog).

https://www.tiktok.com/@hudsonflynn2/video/7129354320595766571?_r=1&_t=8UgzWrZ9zh8&is_from_webapp=v1&item_id=7129354320595766571

This comes at a time when everyone seems to just be disrespecting licensing and the rights to things. I brought up Barlow & Bear earlier because they had a perfect deal with Netflix, an outlet that catapulted them into fame, and they have decided to completely tarnish that by staging a production of The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical for money—despite Netflix telling them that they could not do that. And then when Netflix offered them a licensing deal for it, they denied it, which then spawned the current lawsuit.

Pair that with this production of Hamilton just pretending like they got a license and the rights to do this, and it makes the theatre kid in me ready to pull my hair out. You cannot just decide to stage a musical without the rights or paying something (unless it’s in the public domain and even then, it’s tricky) and I just hope this doesn’t begin to spawn more people into doing productions they’re not authorized to do.

(via My San Antonio, image: Disney)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.