HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN ON HAGGARD by Mitch E. Perry11/06/06
In Colorado Springs, members of the New Life Church were stunned and brought to tears yesterday by the Reverend Ted Haggardâ€™s confessions of â€œsexual immorality,â€? then accepted his plea for forgiveness with open arms.
Haggard had been a leading evangelist and vocal opponent of gay marriage. He apologized in a letter read from the pulpit of the 14,000-member church he founded. Haggard resigned last week as president of the National Association of Evangelicals, which represents 30 million evangelical Christians, after a man claimed to have had drug-fueled trysts with him.
Haggard at first denied everything, but then admitted on Friday that that he paid Mike Jones of Denver for a massage and for methamphetamine, but said he did not have sex with him and did not take the drug.
Samantha Smoot coordinates the federal and state legislative efforts for the Human Rights Campaign , a Washington based gay rights organization. She spoke to WMNF Over the weekend about the Haggard affair, and what if any impact it could have on the 11 states that are voting on initiatives banning same sex marriages (roll tape#1 o.q.â€?different treatmentâ€?)
Thatâ€™s Samantha Smoot, from the Human Rights Campaign, speaking to WMNF over the weekend.