Today’s Oprah Winfrey Show gave Mr. Haggard a lot of time to describe his sexuality. Haggard’s wife joins him in this segment where they discuss ambiguities of sexual identity.
It is notable that he says he was not cured because he doesn’t view his same-sex attraction as a sickness. Also, he believes his SSA is a part of him and not due to demons. It is clear he continues to believe homosexual behavior violates his faith but he is quite open now about his experience. I liked his statement that he cannot put himself into a category. Doing so would be untrue to his experience now.
Today, Oprah and Mr. & Mrs. Ted Haggard on Oprah. If you can’t watch, check out the pics and narration on the Oprah website.
Not sure I’ll see it. Let’s make this an open forum on the program and all things Haggard…
Ted Haggard could have been in my study last summer. Over 190 same-sex attracted men who are heterosexually married took my survey to describe their sexuality. Many of them said the same thing – that labels didn’t fully capture their experience.
Haggard told the Denver Post that labels don’t work. Read the rest at the link.
Haggard’s description is consistent with the results I found. I am still collecting data involving same-sex attracted women in straight marriages. Just a few points on the men:
-191 men completed the survey; referrals came from ex-gay ministries, bisexual groups, mixed orientation couple support groups and via this website.
-Regarding the labels issue, 33% of all respondents qualified their sexual orientation self-description because they felt the labels were not adequately descriptive.
-We found 6 groups of such men with different attaction patterns. Haggard may fit into the “spousosexual” group if his general attractions are for men, but he experiences attraction for his wife. We found 20% of the total group in that category.
-The smallest group was the “ex-gay” group. Just over 6% said they once were attracted to the same-sex primarily and are now primarily attracted to the opposite sex.
-The largest group (40%) were bisexual in their attraction patterns and about one-quarter of the men were primarily attracted to the same sex in the present.
There are many more interesting findings that I am saving for the paper on this research. It should be ready by the end of February for submission. Stay tuned…
Of course he does.
This story is all over but I wanted to get us talking about it as well. Here is the AP video of the story.
I hope to find a way to see the documentary without getting HBO. What Mr. Haggard is doing by striving to maintain his marriage vows is an honorable effort. He is giving voice to many who remain same-sex attracted while in heterosexual marriages. There are many marriages like this which fail but others remain intact.
This morning, ABC News is reporting that Ted Haggard preached a very personal sermon this past weekend about his fall from and back into grace.
Haggard spoke in the morning and evening at Open Bible Fellowship, an independent, charismatic church in Morrison, IL. I have yet to listen to the sermons but the ABC News account implies he attributes his homosexual inclinations to sexual molestation at age 7.
Haggard told the congregation that a sexual incident with a man when he was 7 years old may be related to the scandal involving a male prostitute and crystal meth use that cost him his job two years ago.
“My dad was pretty successful,” Haggard said. “He had a lot of workers. One of those workers had a sexual experience with me. I was 7 years old.”
Haggard said that incident stayed with him throughout his life.
There I was, 50 years old, a conservative Republican, loving the word of God, an evangelical, born-again, spirit-filled, charismatic, all those things,” he said. “But some of the things that were buried in the depths of the sea from when I was in the second grade started to rage in my heart and mind.”
“I’m very, very sorry that I sinned,” he said. “My wife — all my sin and shame fell on her. People treated her as if she had fallen. And my children — they all went through carrying my shame.”