Allegations that a conservative Christian group may have fired one of its senior attorneys after learning he was secretly gay and involved with younger men are heating up across the blogosphere.
Metro Weekly reports that James Henderson, a senior counsel at the American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ), was fired one day after a blog report implying that he may be gay surfaced. "He is no longer affiliated with any ACLJ entity," said Ronn Torossian of 5W Public Relations in an email cited by the publication.
Though officials declined further comment on why Henderson was fired (they described the case as a "personnel matter"), the news comes days after a series of unconfirmed reports which claimed the attorney, who is reportedly married with eight children, had created a now-deleted Facebook account under the name "Kyle Johnson" to communicate with at least two different gay men. (View the video above, which was produced by YouTube user Balmerliberal, for a summary of the alleged events.)
The Exposed Politics site has extensive, if somewhat inconclusive, details on the case, including a series of photos of a young-looking man named Sam Bennett, with whom "Kyle Johnson" allegedly communicated. The Patriot Ombudsman also features a snapshot of "Kyle Johnson's" newly-pierced ear, as well as Facebook posts in which "Johnson" appears to declare that he is gay (or what he terms "queer") as well as eating food after smoking marijuana.
"And I hate having live [sic] such a long time wish such a lie," Johnson writes in one cryptic-sounding post. "I have pretty well concluded that for the sake of my own mental health, I am going to have to come clean."
Then, in another: "I mean walking out of the closet and into the sunshine of day."
As The Advocate points out, it appears that Henderson -- who is described as "right-wing" and a "birther" -- provided the two men with alcohol and marijuana, even though it is unclear whether the men with whom he communicated are at the age of consent or old enough to consume alcohol.
Metro Weekly also notes that the ACLJ has since "scrubbed Henderson from its website," as his bio page appears to have been deleted and the multiple articles Henderson wrote during his years at the organization have similarly vanished.
Founded by Pat Robertson, the ACLJ is "is dependent upon God and the resources He provides through the time, talent, and gifts of people who share our concerns and desire to protect our religious and constitutional freedoms," according to its official website.
The Advocate also points out that Henderson previously taught law at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va., which was also founded by Pat Robertson.
Correction at 4:34pm ET on October 9: A previous version of this story stated that Henderson taught religious studies at Regent University. He actually taught law.