Mega-church pastor Joel Osteen said Sunday that believing homosexuality is a sin doesn’t make him a “gay hater” or a “gay basher.”
“I believe the Scripture says that being gay is a sin,” the pastor of Houston’s Lakewood Church told host Chris Wallace on “Fox New Sunday” when asked to clarify his position on the issue.
“But, you know, every time I say that, Chris, I get people say, ‘Well, you are a gay hater and you’re a gay basher.’ I’m not. I don’t — I don’t dislike anybody. Gays are some of the nicest, kindest, most loving people in the world. But my faith is based on what I believe the Scripture says and that’s the way I read the Scripture.”
Osteen added that certain rights and privileges should be afforded to gay couples, but he stopped short of saying that gays should have the right to marry.
“I think we shouldn’t discriminate against anybody,” he said.
“So, I think — yes, I don’t think there is an issue where somebody couldn’t go visit a gay loved one in the hospital. I don’t think that’s right. They love each other. So, I think there should be some. I’m not for gay marriage, but I’m not for discriminating against people.” (RELATED: Osteen visits top lawmakers during DC faith tour)
Osteen was on the Sunday talk show to mark his “America’s Night of Hope” event which is scheduled to take place Sunday at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.