Haggard: Can't Pray Away the Gay
More news is coming out about the Rev. Ted Haggard, who was "outed" in 2007 for a having sexual encounters with a man. There was another man also who apparently has waited until now to prevent a complete whitewash of Haggard's past since his church is trying to "pray away the gay" from Haggard. An HBO special (premiering Thursday) and several high profile interviews are upcoming with Oprah (already taped) and Larry King. I expect they are part of Haggard's "I'm clean" tour to regain his ministry.
When is organized religion in general going to stop vilifying people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, etc.? Haggard is probably honest when he says his sexuality is complex, however, I don't expect him to admit that he is gay or bisexual. I hope I am wrong, but he will likely say he committed sins and now "the gay is prayed away." This way, another religious lie can be continued, and no one will be forced to actually think for themselves. Gawd forbid.
Brady Boyd, who succeeded Haggard as senior pastor of the 10,000-member New Life Church in Colorado Springs, told The Associated Press that the man came forward to church officials in late 2006 shortly after a Denver male prostitute claimed to have had a three-year cash-for-sex relationship with Haggard.
Boyd said an "overwhelming pool of evidence" pointed to an "inappropriate, consensual sexual relationship" that "went on for a long period of time ... it wasn't a one-time act." Boyd said the man was in his early 20s at the time. He said he was certain the man was of legal age when it began.
Reached Friday night, Haggard declined to comment and said all interviews would have to be arranged through a publicist for HBO, which is airing a documentary about him this month.
Boyd said he had spoken to the man once and came away with the impression that he was speaking out because of the documentary.
"I think what caused this young man to be a bit aggravated was Ted being seen as a victim, when he himself had experienced a great deal of hurt," Boyd said.
"I seriously doubt this man would have come forward if the documentary had not been made."In an AP interview this month before an appearance in front of TV critics in California, Haggard described his sexuality as complex and something that can't be put into "stereotypical boxes." [Denver Post]