WATCH: Joel Osteen Didn't Choose to Be Straight, But Being Gay Is a Sin

The conservative pastor of a Houston megachurch told a CNN panel that he did not choose his sexual orientation, but that same-sex attraction is sinful.



Osteen, Socarides
Osteen, Socarides

Conservative pastor Joel Osteen told CNN's Soledad O'Brien today that he didn't choose to be straight, saying, "I just feel like that's who I am." The pastor, who leads a 45,000-member megachurch in Texas and believes the Bible condemns same-sex love, appeared on CNN's Starting Point this morning with New Yorker writer and former Bill Clinton adviser Richard Socarides.

It was Socarides who posed the question to Osteen, after the preacher had repeatedly avoided O'Brien's questions about how he can morally reconcile preaching that homosexuality is a sin when he very likely has LGBT people in his congregation.

"You think you choose to be straight?" asked Socarides.

"I know I have not chosen to be straight. It just feels like that's who I am," responded Osteen. Then, apparently realizing that his reply opened up a pathway to believing sexual orientation is innate, Osteen backtracked and said he tries to "stick to issues I understand." 

Watch video of the moment below.