Gerard, the 69 year old actor who played the quintessential hero on the NBC show Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, has never shied away from speaking his mind to his 5,000 followers via his Facebook page. On Easter Sunday 2012, he made clear his Christian faith by celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and acknowledged his Jewish friends and fans celebrating Passover.
When the recent Chick-fil-A controversy began to stir, Gerard entered the fray by posting a image on his Facebook page supportive of the restaurant chain. He even joined a Facebook group supporting Chick-fil-A and freedom of speech.
While the majority of his followers seemed supportive, some took offense. One decided to address Gerard directly, causing the actor to post the following message on his page:
"I received a personal message from an anonymous (of course) person who accused me of supporting bigotry because, I assume, I had shared the photo of the poster relating to the whole Chick-fil-A thing.
"As far as I can ascertain the owner of Chick-fil-A made no derogatory statement regarding homosexuals or homosexuality itself, nor did he propose taking any actions against homosexuals, as in firing any who work for him or denying service to any who came to his stores.
"What I did find was that a man expressed an opinion regarding gay marriage, which he is entitled to do under the rights guaranteed him by our Constitution, and he was promptly attacked as being anti-gay. Don't see it, haven't seen it, hope not to see it 'cause I can't support bigotry.
"I would think that the gay community should look to themselves and think about the bigotry implied in their stance, after all, the man only expressed an opinion, simply engaged in civil discourse, didn't call any names, or recommend that action be taken against anyone."
Gerard's statement caused even more furor for some, insistent that a stand for Chick-fil-A was anti-gay. They pointed to information provided by the left-leaning website Equality Matters and the Southern Poverty Law Center, but an examination of the information provided does little to prove the restaurant chain as anti-gay. They site the rather benign and well-respected organizations Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Focus on the Family as anti-gay, only on the basis that their Christian beliefs state homosexuality is a sin.
Gerard later said that if he ever saw proof that Chick-fil-A supported bigotry of homosexuals, he would withdraw his support.
Many of Gil's fans took note that he was attempting to have a civil yet fair debate about the issue. Alan Slonaker posted on Gerard's Facebook page "Gil, I'm starting to believe that your page may be one of the last bastions of civil discourse on the internet. It's nice to see and greatly appreciated."