Friday, November 03, 2006

Ted Haggard resigns as head of NAE over gay prostitution claims

Ted Haggard, head of the New Life megachurch in Colorado Springs, has resigned as leader of the National Association of Evangelicals over accusations that he paid for gay sex and methamphetamines. He denies the allegations, but says he is stepping aside to maintain the integrity of the organization while an investigation occurs. Ross Parsley, the acting senior pastor at New Life Church, says that Haggard has admitted that some of the allegations are true. "I just know that there has been some admission of indiscretion, not admission to all of the material that has been discussed but there is an admission of some guilt," Parsley told KKTV-TV of Colorado Springs.

Haggard and his church have been outspoken in opposition to gay marriage.

As Radley Balko points out, this provides further evidence for the thesis that the loudest of the anti-gay crowd are fighting their own urges.

UPDATE: It appears that he has confessed to buying methamphetamine, but not the gay sex.

UPDATE (November 3, 2006): The accuser has failed a polygraph test (not that that actually means much more than if he had failed a tea-leaf reading or astrological horoscope). Haggard has admitted to buying, but not using meth. Which raises the question--who was he buying meth for, if not for his own use?

UPDATE: Haggard is clearly lying about not using the meth he bought (his voice message says he's buying more), and his claim that he only bought a massage rather than engaged in sex is implausible based on the ad he answered. He claims he bought the meth for his own use out of curiosity, but threw it away.

UPDATE (November 4, 2006): Haggard has been dismissed from his church for "sexual immorality." Looks like either his church's leaders don't buy his denials of gay sex or consider a massage to be sexual immorality.

UPDATE (November 5, 2006): Haggard has admitted that he's a liar and a deceiver, though still claims that "not all" of the accusations against him are true, "but enough of them are that I was appropriately removed from [his] church leadership position." He admitted to being "guilty of sexual immorality."

UPDATE (December 28, 2006): Haggard's dope dealer and masseuse, Mike Jones, has signed a book deal. It will be published by Seven Stories Press.

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