Televangelist homophobe Pat Robertson claimed gay men wear secret rings that transmit HIV. Seriously
Homophobic televangelist Pat Robertson once claimed gay men have a “secret ring” that transmits HIV, according to a bizarre video that’s recently resurfaced.
The segment of The 700 Club where Robertson made the statements was so outlandish that the Christian Broadcasting Network had it removed from video-sharing platforms at the time, including YouTube and Vimeo.
But the clip has re-emerged after the death of anti-LGBT+ commentator Rush Limbaugh, revealing that Pat Robertson’s homophobia was easily on par with him.
“I think people in the gay community, they want to get people,” Robertson ranted in 2013. “They’ll have a ring, and you shake hands, and the ring has a little thing where you cut your finger.”
His co-host Terry Meeuwsen questioned this bizarre claim. “Really?” he asked.
“Really,” Pat Robertson assured him. “It is that kind of vicious stuff, which would be the equivalent of murder.”
Despite the Christian Broadcasting Network’s attempts to bury the segment it still managed to attract controversy after his comments were republished in an article by The Atlantic.
Robertson attempted to salvage whatever reputation he had by claiming his words had been “misunderstood”.
“In my own experience, our organisation sponsored a meeting years ago in San Francisco where trained security officers warned me about shaking hands because, in those days, certain AIDS-infected activists were deliberately trying to infect people like me by virtue of rings which would cut fingers and transfer blood,” he said.
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“I regret that my remarks had been misunderstood, but this often happens because people do not listen to the context of remarks which are being said.
“In no ways were my remarks meant as an indictment of the homosexual community or, for that fact, to those infected with this dreadful disease.”
Unfortunately his dubious sympathy for the LGBT+ community didn’t last long.
In the years that followed he’s become infamous for his increasingly wild homophobic statements, including claims that the US will face a nuclear attack if it passes an LGBT+ non-discrimination law, and that gay people are willing to destroy society to protect “their weird way of doing sex”.
More recently he has seriously suggested that America forsaking gay marriage would cure coronavirus.