US singer and actress Kristen Chenoweth has described how she balances her Christian faith with support for gay rights.

The West Wing and Wicked star has been praised for supporting equality and last year, defended her Promises, Promises co-star Sean Hayes after an article said he couldn’t play a straight man.

She told The Advocate: “I read my Bible and I pray and all of that – I really do. But at the same time, I don’t think being gay is a sin. Period

“I also think there are a lot of Christians who believe like me… My Grandma Chenoweth told me something when I was growing up. My [gay] best friend…I asked Grandma Chenoweth, ‘How can it be that he’s going to hell? I just don’t think that’s correct.’

“And she said, ‘Well, Kris, I read the Bible like I eat fish: I take the meat, and it serves me well, but I don’t choke on the bone’.”

On her support of Hayes, who was criticised in a Newsweek article, Chenoweth said: “Most of the feedback was positive, to be honest with you. But I did read online that some people were disappointed to hear that I felt that way. And that makes me sad.

“But what can I tell you? I’m sorry if somebody is offended by what I say, but it’s the truth of how I feel.”