FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Wayne Besen
Hush Money Scandal Emerges From New Life’ Closet, Says TWO
NEW YORK — Truth Wins Out (TWO) today called on Colorado officials to investigate New Life Church, after the Associated Press revealed that New Life paid money to keep a male volunteer from publicly disclosing a romantic affair with the church’ former minister Ted Haggard.
According to the AP, New Life’ current Senior Pastor, Brady Boyd, said that the church reached a legal settlement to pay the man for counseling and college tuition, with one condition being that none of the parties involved discuss the relationship publicly.
“Until conservative churches stop shaming gay people and learn to accept them, we will see more tawdry scandals,” said Truth Wins Out’ Executive Director Wayne Besen. “These calamities are a direct result of the closet.”
Rev. Boyd denied that New Life paid hush money and said, “Our desire was to help him. Here was a young man who wanted to get on with his life. We considered it more compassionate assistance — certainly not hush money.”
TWO called on Colorado officials to look into the matter.
“Authorities should investigate to ensure that this volunteer was not manipulated or coerced into silence,” said Besen. “The leadership of New Life has little credibility and should not simply be taken at their word. At a minimum, Boyd should resign for using his position of power to pressure a vulnerable member of his congregation into silence.”
In 2006, Denver escort Mike Jones disclosed that he and Haggard had a three-year relationship where money was exchanged for sex. Shortly after, Haggard stepped down from New Life. Next week, HBO will air a documentary on the rise and fall of Haggard. The disgraced minister will be promoting the show in media appearances throughout the week.
There is speculation that the HBO special spurred the volunteer to contact a Colorado Springs television station to discuss the situation.
Truth Wins Out is a non-profit organization that defends the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community against anti-gay lies. TWO also counters the so-called “ex-gay” industry and educates America about the lives of GLBT people.