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JoanTreese
11/2/2006 9:15 PM
1 out of 67

Rev. Ted Haggard who has been an advisor to the Bush White House and a friend of Karl Rove has fallen over an alleged gay sex allegation.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The leader of the 30 million-member National Association of Evangelicals, a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage, resigned Thursday after being accused of paying for sex with a man in monthly trysts over the past three years.

The Rev. Ted Haggard, a married father of five who has been called one of the most influential evangelical Christians in the nation, denied the allegations. His accuser refused to share voice mails that he said backed up his claim.

Haggard also stepped aside as head of his 14,000-member New Life Church while a church panel investigates, saying he could "not continue to minister under the cloud created by the accusations."

"I am voluntarily stepping aside from leadership so that the overseer process can be allowed to proceed with integrity," Haggard said in a written statement. "I hope to be able to discuss this matter in more detail at a later date."

He also told KUSA-TV late Wednesday: "Never had a gay relationship with anybody, and I'm steady with my wife, I'm faithful to my wife."

The allegations come as voters in Colorado and seven other states get ready to decide Tuesday on amendments banning gay marriage. Besides the proposed ban on the Colorado ballot, a separate measure would establish the legality of domestic partnerships providing same-sex couples with many of the rights of married couples.

Accuser cites hypocrisy
Mike Jones, 49, of Denver told The Associated Press he decided to go public with his allegations because of the political fight. Jones, who said he is gay, said he was upset when he discovered Haggard and the New Life Church had publicly opposed same-sex marriage.

"It made me angry that here's someone preaching about gay marriage and going behind the scenes having gay sex," said Jones, who added that he isn't working for any political group.

Jones, whose allegations were first aired on KHOW-AM radio in Denver, claimed Haggard paid him to have sex nearly every month over three years. Jones also said Haggard snorted methamphetamine before their sexual encounters to heighten his experience.

Haggard and his attorney, Martin Nussbaum, did not return calls Thursday night from the AP.

Jones said that he had advertised himself as an escort on the Internet and that a man who called himself Art contacted him. Jones said he later saw the man on television identified as Haggard.




kebecer1
11/2/2006 9:34 PM
2 out of 67

If you can tie this to something Mr Kerry said, Folleygate, and the Dem's desire to welcome the "terrorists" into Congress so that they can vote for taxes on the middle class, Joan, this story will get wide circulation. :)



MGB2003
11/2/2006 9:45 PM
3 out of 67

on the other hand.....being a potential SEX scandal could get it into the BIG news category and distract the population from the more important serious matters like the US Mass murder in Iraq....

SEX plays in the US. Sex scandals plays even more. Rather pathetic , but that is how it is.



JoanTreese
11/2/2006 10:00 PM
4 out of 67

I'm sure there will be those who will accuse this as being a political ploy by the Democratics so close to election day!!!

Haggard has been an influential advisor on evangelical matters to the current White House and many politicos. I'm sure the White House isn't pleased with today's story.

Here in Colorado, we have 2 initiatives on the ballot next week. One is a marriage amendment between male and female only and one is a pro-civil union measure.

Most of the Democratic candidates are in the lead statewide and it looks like Colorado will go very BLUE next week!!!



Joan


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