Fallen pastor Ted Haggard, attempting to put his scandalous past behind him, says he has become more understanding of gay people and LGBT rights.
"I was always well aware of my own personal struggles, but my desire was to be more Godly," Haggard said, according to KMGH-TV in Denver. "I was never a religious right, hateful, antigay guy -- secretly running off, except right at the end. I'd say right at the end, before the crisis. That did develop a little bit stronger."
Haggard claims that a childhood experience of abuse led him to get involved with Mike Jones, a scandal that was revealed in 2006. When asked whether being gay is an innate characteristic, he said he hadn't a clue.
"All I know is that in my case, it's a very sad story. I regret that it happened. But, I'm glad I've been through what I've been through to take care of it, because in my story it wasn't about being born gay or being gay. I've always had a wonderful relationship with my wife."
Haggard is working on plans to start a new church in Colorado Springs. He spent 22 years at the New Life Church, when it was revealed that the megachurch pastor was delving into drugs and had a relationship with a prostitute.
Haggard, who is married to a woman, has admitted to "sexual immorality." Earlier this year, in an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, he characterized his same-sex attractions as "dark and repulsive" and a "compulsion" of which he had been cured.