Hustler 'Outs' Anti-Gay Colorado Church Leader
November 2, 2006
(Denver, Colorado) A Denver male hustler claims to have had a pay-for-play relationship for several years with evangelist Ted Haggard - one of the leaders of the move to ban same-sex marriage in Colorado.
Mike Jones first made the revelation to television station KUSA and then repeated them on a Denver radio talk show.
Haggard, whose TV program is watched by millions across the country is the senior pastor at the 14,000-member New Life Church in Colorado Springs and is president of the multimillion- member National Association of Evangelicals. Haggard denies Jones' allegations but a leader of the mega-church said Thursday the charges are being investigated.
According to Jones he had a three-year sexual business relationship with Haggard.
KUSA reports that Jones first came to the station three months ago with his story.
"People may look at me and think what I've done is immoral, but I think I had to do the moral thing in my mind and that is expose someone who is preaching one thing and doing the opposite behind everybody's back," Jones told the television station.
Haggard has been one of the major proponents for a proposed amendment to the Colorado constitution that would ban same-sex marriage. Voters will decide the issue next Tuesday, along with a second proposal to create civil unions for gay couples in the state - something that Haggard has publicly opposed.
Haggard told KUSA he is prepared for an investigation by his church.
"I've never had a gay relationship with anybody," he told KUSA.
"I am steady with my wife. I'm faithful to my wife. I don't know if this is election-year politics or if this has to do with the marriage amendment or what it is," Haggard said.
But on KHOW radio Thursday Jones accused the evangelist of lying.
"Yes he is (lying)," said Jones. "He had a relationship with me. We had gay sex."
He also claimed to have recorded voicemails and a letter from Haggard, and that he had witnessed Haggard use methamphetamine.
Jones offered to take a polygraph and the station took him up on the offer. It will be conducted on the air on Friday.
A recent Mason-Dixon poll for the Denver Post shows that both the proposed amendment and the civil unions measure, are likely to be approved by voters. (story)
The domestic partner registry was approved by the legislature earlier this year. Called Proposition I, it would give same-sex couples many of the rights of marriage.
The ban on same-sex marriage was the result of a so-called citizens initiative put forward by the conservative Coloradans for Marriage a group associated with Focus on the Family. (story)
FOF chair James Dobson rushed to Haggard's defense on Thursday.
"It is unconscionable that the legitimate news media would report a rumor like this based on nothing but one man's accusation," Dobson said in a statement.
"Ted Haggard is a friend of mine and it appears someone is trying to damage his reputation as a way of influencing the outcome of Tuesday's election -- especially the vote on Colorado's marriage-protection amendment -- which Ted strongly supports."
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