NEW YORK — TruthWinsOut.org said Ted Haggard’ inability to go from gay to straight was no surprise and indicative of these failed programs. Haggard entered an intensive “restoration” process after he was fired from New Life Church and resigned as head of the National Association of Evangelicals in 2006 amid allegations that he had an affair with a male prostitute.
“As far as predictions go, the failure of Haggard’ “ex-gay’ program was not exactly like picking the New York Giants over the undefeated New England Patriots in the Super bowl,” said TruthWinsOut.org’ Executive Director Wayne Besen. “It is pretty much a given that these programs don’t work and we hope Haggard comes to a genuine place of love and self-acceptance.”
On Tuesday, the antigay New Life Church of Colorado Springs announced that the Rev. Ted Haggard had quit the church’s five-year “spiritual restoration” process. He agreed to five years of ex-gay rehabilitation in January 2007 — and one of his mentors claimed just three weeks later that Haggard was “completely heterosexual.” Haggard then embarrassed New Life leaders when he requested donations while he sought a degree in counseling. The donations were to be collected by Families with a Mission, a Colorado non-profit run by Paul Huberly, a twice-convicted registered sex offender.
On Tuesday, New Life said Haggard will maintain an undefined “accountability relationship” with Phoenix pastor Tommy Barnett, who had already served on the New Life restoration team. Throughout the scandal, New Life has failed to explain how ex-gay prayer or counseling could turn Haggard — or anyone else — straight.
“It is time for conservative churches to admit that their approach to homosexuality is an experiment that has failed,” said TWO’ Besen. “How many lives will be shattered, families destroyed and careers ruined before the religious right accepts gay people for who they are?”
Truth WinsOut.org is a non-profit organization that counters right wing propaganda, exposes the “ex-gay” myth and educates America about gay life. For more information, visit www.TruthWinsOut.org.
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