The head of America’s National Association of Evangelicals and prominent same sex marriage opponent has resigned after allegedly paying for sex with a man.

Reverend Ted Haggard, Senior Pastor of the New Life Church in Colorado, who is married with five children denies the allegations but has stepped down while an investigation is conducted.

He said in a statement, “I am voluntarily stepping aside from leadership so that the overseer process can be allowed to proceed with integrity. I hope to be able to discuss this matter in more detail at a later date.”

The revelation came after alleged voicemails arranging prices for trysts were broadcast on KUSA-TV, a Colorado TV station, between male escort Mike Jones and the clergyman.

Mr Jones said he wants to expose the cleric as a hypocrite for opposing gay rights whilst having gay sex.

The National Association of Evangelicals has 30 million-member associations and aims to promote Christian values in politics.

It comes as the Christian Right attempts to persuade US citizens to vote for “family values” at next weeks mid-term elections.