Comedian Ricky Gervais has criticized parents who reject their gay children.

The 50-year-old British-born Gervais appeared Thursday on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight.

When host Piers Morgan asked Gervais, “How does your atheism, that you are passionate about, play with your American audience given that so many people in America are God-fearing people?” Gervais answered: “They shouldn't. Why should they take offense that I don't believe in their God or any other God?”

“Tell me the reasons why you don't believe in all the other Gods. And that's the reason I don't believe in yours,” Gervais said. “I got nothing against people who believe in God. In fact, if it did make you a kinder person, if you did good things in his name, then great. But there's the rub. It's when I see some of these religious fundamentalists saying that they've told their 5-year-old children, that if they turn out gay, they will burn in hell. That to me is child abuse. That has nothing to do with religion or spirituality. That's child abuse.”

Gervais also criticized Republican presidential candidates who oppose gay rights.

“Just because they are offended by someone being gay, it doesn't mean they're right,” Gervais said.

He joked that if being gay is a choice, then the candidates should “have a go at it.”

“See how much you like it,” Gervais said.