Pat Robertson, who blamed disasters on LGBTQ rights, dead at 93

Thu. June 8, 2023 6:53 PM by Carlos Santoscoy

Televangelist Pat Robertson, a vocal opponent of LGBTQ rights, died on Thursday. He was 93.

The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), the Virginia-based television station he founded, said that he died at his home in Virginia Beach.

"Pat Robertson dedicated his life to preaching the Gospel, helping those in need, and educating the next generation," the network said in a statement announcing his death.

Robertson had an oversized influence on Republican Party politics through his Christian Coalition.

Through his coalition, Robertson created an alliance between conservative Christians and the Republican Party that continues to this day.

In 1988, he sought the GOP presidential nomination and finished in second place in the Iowa caucuses, ahead of Vice President George H. W. Bush. He would later back Bush's campaign.

CBN launched The 700 Club – its flagship news magazine program – in 1966.

On the show, Robertson continued to influence American politics – Presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and Donald Trump appeared on the program.

He also used his platform to speak out against LGBTQ rights, blasting the Democratic Party as "godless" for its support of same-sex marriage, which he described as an "abomination." In 2021, he blamed the COVID-19 pandemic on marriage equality, continuing a pattern of describing certain natural disasters as God's revenge for increasing acceptance of LGBTQ rights, among other things.

He also criticized transgender rights, calling transgender identity "an attack on the enemy against human beings" and "a delusion."

On his program, he would routinely call on parents to disown their gay, bisexual, or transgender children and ran stories about LGBTQ people who claimed to have changed their sexual orientation or gender identity.

"If you're into the homosexual lifestyle and you want freedom, [then] somebody is here to love you," he said in urging gay viewers to reach out to CBN.

Robertson would also lament that mental health professionals no longer treat homosexuality as a disease.

In 2013, he claimed that "vicious" gay people were spreading HIV with special rings. A year later, he told viewers that towels in Kenya "can have AIDS." These comments landed him on Anderson Cooper's "Ridiculist."

Robertson and his wife Dede, who died last year, had four children, 14 grandchildren, and 24 great-grandchildren, CBN said in its statement.

This article appeared at On Top Magazine and has been published here with permission.