The Duggars are against gay rights, and eldest son Josh even took part in a rally last month protesting gay marriages. The family's intolerance was once again highlighted when they deleted pictures of gay people kissing from their Facebook page recently.
But new reports reveal that the strict Christian family has been hiding a gay family member. According to Life & Style, Michelle Duggar's older sister Evelyn Ruark is gay, and the 63-year-old lives with her partner in Cincinati, Ohio.
Ruark's sexual orientation is said to have caused a strain in the sisters' relationship. The media outlet noted that Michelle doesn't approve of Ruark's homosexuality and she in turn doesn't approve the Duggars' Christian lifestyle.
But that doesn't mean the Duggars have shunned Ruark from their lives. Michelle's older sister was featured in one episode of "19 Kids and Counting," but her sexual orientation was not revealed at the time.
The eldest Duggar son, Josh, also spoke about his lesbian aunt during a radio show last year, and it seems like they have a good relationship.
"I have an aunt who has chosen to live that life and I love my aunt. I think she is an amazing person," he told listeners, adding that his aunt was also against gay marriage. "She believes that marriage is between one man and one woman."
In late November, Josh led an anti-gay marriage rally in Arkansas despite an online petition urging TLC to cancel "19 Kids and Counting" due to the Duggars' anti-gay stance. But the family hit back saying no amount of pressure will shake them.
The petition on Change.org received more than 185,700 supporters, but Jim Bob said at the Booster Banquet at Hannibal-LaGrange University this month that the petition has given them "more exposure."
"They won't succeed," he said, according to E!Online. "Our show is the No. 1 show on TLC. It's a small group creating this fuss. All it has done is give us more exposure." When asked allegations that the Duggars hate homosexuals, Jim Bob replied, "We love everybody, but we don't always agree with them."