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Ted Haggard Endorses Civil Marriage Equality

Timothy Kincaid

October 21st, 2012

The world is a funny place. Now Ted Haggard – yes that Ted Haggard, is endorsing civil marriage equality. (OnTop)

While Haggard supported the 2006 referendum which amended Colorado’s Constitution to say that only heterosexual couples may marry in the state, he now argues otherwise.

In the online debate against Rabbi Benjamin Hecht, director of Orthodox Jewish think tank Nishma, Haggard said he sees a distinction between biblical law and civil law.

“We’ve reached a point where human dignity and mutual respect is so important,” Haggard said. “If someone is dealing with same-sex attraction or homosexuality, and they want someone to be their life partner of the same gender, though we would oppose that in our churches, it should be allowed by the state.”

It’s easy to dismiss Haggard as a joke. But let’s remember that he was the leader of the National Association of Evangelicals and is still a pastor, of sorts, and in connection with that community. His statement is a bit of a milestone.

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Lindoro Almaviva
October 21st, 2012 | LINK

A bigger milestone would be if he actually admitted what he is, as opposed to continue the facade of “God cured me.”

esurience
October 21st, 2012 | LINK

Won’t someone close the italics tag!

gsingjane
October 22nd, 2012 | LINK

This is an incredible development and I very much appreciate the reporting. Even as much as Ted Haggard has had a rough and not very honest (most of the time) journey, the story also shows that people are indeed capable of change and growth. Of course I can’t know Ted Haggard’s heart, but I am surprised and pleased that he has evolved to this point, and is open about it. Beyond that, I do not think it is anyone’s business whether he is gay, straight, bi, or some other amalgam, and the force of his support for marriage equality is in no way diminished by his not being open about his orientation.

Lindoro Almaviva
October 22nd, 2012 | LINK

gsingjane:

I see your point, but I do not agree with it 100%. I just can’t.

Is this a good thing? Sure, support coming from wherever it is should be applauded and celebrated. After all, Ted has a long history of anti gay sentiment and actions.

My problem is that this is still and carries still an “us vs. them” feeling. Ted, in all his might is still referring to us as THEM. “If THEY want to do it, let them, what’s the hurt? If it good for THEM, WE should not get on the way.”

That, in my opinion is disingenuous because it also carries that, “thank GOD I am not one of them.” And “we’ll, you can still be cured, like me.” So, what we get is a half assed attempt at support while still carrying the message that there is something intrinsically wrong with us. “Look, Ted Haggard say we should let them marry, but why would we, shouldn’t they Steve to be cured like Ted did?” “Gay marriage is for those who just don’t pray enough, look at Ted Haggard, he got cured of his homosexuality and now he is happy.”

All this could lead us back to the beginning: “why support gay marriage, what we need to do is give homosexuals the tools they need to get cured and then they can marry someone of the opposite gender, just like Ted Haggard did. Praised be Jesus, look at the example we got!”

Until Ted grows the balls to admit what he is, the his support is just window dressing. I actually would think that Alan Chambers has a lot more credibility these days. He at least had the balls to admit that there is a huge probability that all those “cures” are just for show and that there is no need to discriminate against LGBT people because there is nothing intrinsically wrong with us. THAT is a bigger acknowledgement than Ted’s half assed attempt to show support while at the same time keeping himself separate from being associated with the gay cooties. L

Timothy Kincaid
October 22nd, 2012 | LINK

I think I may have left out a detail that impacts how this story is received. From GQ, Feb 2011 (and subsequent mainstream news):

For the first time since we’ve met, Ted isn’t looking directly at me. “Here’s where I really am on this issue,” he half whispers. “I think that probably, if I were 21 in this society, I would identify myself as a bisexual.” After a weekend of Ted trying to convince me of his unambiguous devotion to his wife and kids, I’m at first too surprised to say anything.

“So why not now?” I ask finally.

“Because, Kevin, I’m 54, with children, with a belief system, and I can have enforced boundaries in my life. Just like you’re a heterosexual but you don’t have sex with every woman that you’re attracted to, so I can be who I am and exclusively have sex with my wife and be perfectly satisfied.”

“But what does it have to do with being 54?”

“Life!” he says. “We live an ordinary life.”

Interesting exchange. Ted sees his sexual identity at least partly in terms of sexual satisfaction. (Which relates a bit to my discussion about changing identities on the gallup poll thread).

Maurice Lacunza
October 22nd, 2012 | LINK

You summed it up succinctly:
“…it is a bit of a milestone.”

That’s all that needs to be said. Afterall, it is a sad day for Ted. He still struggles with the truth and the facade he wears with the church “truth.”

Sad. He must be so unhappy inside. But, it is a bit of a milestone. So, lets leave it at that.

gsingjane
October 22nd, 2012 | LINK

Well, I don’t really see the point of attacking Ted Haggard for something you assume he’s thinking, rather than anything he said (in the above clip or in the source). So far as I can tell, he didn’t say he was now ex-gay, didn’t claim anybody else could or should be, and didn’t set himself up in opposition to gay people. It’s true that Ted Haggard’s situation is difficult and nuanced, and I’m certainly glad I’m not married to him. But, it’s also true that people don’t necessarily have to fit into specific roles or modes of behavior, in order to be capable and forceful allies. I think it’s amazing and laudable that Ted Haggard is, despite his really complicated history and feelings, still advocating for the good guys here. Don’t slam him just because he isn’t 100% of everything you’d like him to be.

Lindoro Almaviva
October 22nd, 2012 | LINK

gsingjane:

The resources were pointed out after my comment,. I agree Ted’s situation is nuanced, but lets not forget that aft his period of isolation, it was the people who he worked with that deemed him “cured”

I think that we can not be naive and ignore how much the people he associates with or at lease did, have a vested interested in making sure that LGBT people remain second class citizens. The other side of the ideology have touted a lot less and have gotten a lot of mileage of stretching the truth.

That is why I believe that even the acknowledgement of. “We’ll, if I was 21 I would call myself bisexual” is so important because it takes the mileage away from the people with a vested interest in parading Haggard as a “cured” man and insist that “if Ted did it, why not the rest of the population”

In Ted’s very particular case, and given who he has associated in the past, and how they have paraded their homophobia with such glee, support without a pinch of self acknowledgment is opening the door for more homophobia.

Neon Genesis
October 23rd, 2012 | LINK

Why can’t NOM take a position more like this and just leave everyone else alone?

anteros
October 24th, 2012 | LINK

i thought this guy would just disappear forever… but he’s back… and look whose side he’s on now! wow! :-)

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