Haggard is the evangelical pastor who ran afoul of his Denver congregation after admitting to a three-year pay-for-sex affair with male prostitute Mike Jones.
The married father of five says everyone – including gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people– is welcome at his new church, St. James in Colorado Springs.
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.”
Watch the debate here.