Alex Constantine - January 27, 2011
Slate | January 27, 2011
Ted Haggard, the former evangelical pastor who was ousted from the megachurch he founded after it was revealed that his extracurricular activities included crystal meth and mutual masturbation with men, confesses that he's probably bisexual in an interview with GQ.
Speaking to GQ's Kevin Roose, Haggard remarks, "I think that probably, if I were 21 in this society, I would identify myself as a bisexual." After resigning from the New Life Church—which he calls his "old Soviet Union"—Haggard reconciled with his wife and founded a new church last June, which welcomes everyone: "gay, straight, bi, tall, short, whether you're an addict, a recovering addict, or you have an addict in your family."
Using the interview to set the record straight—or, rather, try to—Haggard tells Roose that despite supporting bans on gay marriage, he wasn't a homophobe, and emphasizes that he never had sex with Mike Jones, the former escort and meth dealer who outed him. Haggard also denies allegations that he paid a former New Life volunteer $179,000 to keep him quiet after a sexual episode, and brushes off claims that he was indecently involved with young men in the church's youth program.
While the evangelist claims that his detractors will end up "publicly repenting," a former New Life member tells Roose what most church members seem to be thinking: "I think Ted genuinely loves God, and I think he has a sincere interest in helping people, but I don't believe a word that comes out of his mouth."
Read original story in GQ | Jan. 27, 2011