Several men have alleged they had sex with anti-LGBTQ+ pastor and conservative radio host Jesse Lee Peterson.
The allegations emerged after Church Militant – a far-right Catholic group and website – released an almost 30-minute video in June featuring interviews with men accusing Peterson of making sexual advances toward them.
Patrick Rooney, one of the men in the video, claimed he had a sexual relationship with Peterson that he said lasted about 10 years. Rooney, who has known Peterson since 1992, alleged in the video that the Los Angeles-based pastor made sexual advances toward him for years before they became sexually involved in 2005.
But Rooney admitted in a subsequent investigation by the Daily Beast he didn’t have any emails, texts, recordings or other documentation that could back up his claims.
“Jesse Lee Peterson is a very smart person, he’s a sly person,” Rooney said. “He’s not going to leave a lot of extraneous evidence out about what he does.”
PinkNews has contacted Jesse Lee Peterson and his Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny (BOND) for comment.
Another man, named Samuel Arambula, alleged in the Church Militant video that Peterson subjected him to unwanted sexual touching at the “BOND house”, a Los Angeles House where Peterson reportedly lives with other members of his organisation.
Robert Santner – who described himself as the BOND house’s former manager – claimed in the video that he witnessed Peterson “intensely” hugging another man. He said he saw a man wrapped up in blankets “like a burrito” while the pastor hugged and kissed his forehead.
According to the Daily Beast, the video followed an online feud between Jesse Lee Peterson and Church Militant’s founder Anthony Michael Voris, who has been described as “one of the US Catholic Church’s most infamous agitators”.
Peterson has reportedly refused to address the allegations he had sexual relationships with men. He told one caller on his radio show, who asked about the claims, that “it’s not concerning me”, the Daily Beast reported.
The outlet reported the video has caused leading figures in the online “manosphere” – which the Daily Beast described as “Peterson’s hyper-masculine conservative community” – to distance themselves from the pastor. One of the leaders reportedly banned Peterson from future events.
In 2019, Jesse Lee Peterson described then-presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg as a “radical homosexual”. He complained that same-gender married couples – who he described as “radical homosexuals” in “phoney relationships” – had “taken over terms ‘husbands’ and ‘wives’”, forcing straight couples to call each other “partners”.
Peterson also claimed that queer couples are not “mentally capable” of raising children and alleged LGBTQ+ people are “violent toward each other”.
He said in 2016 that intellectual “nutcases” are responsible for same-sex marriage and drag queens.
Last year, Jesse Lee Peterson tweeted the baseless claim that “‘diversity’ and ‘inclusion’ based on race, gender sexual orientation or any other physical attribute is a cancer on America culture”.