VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (CBSDC) — Televangelist Pat Robertson is claiming that the gay community is spreading AIDS among themselves by cutting their fingers with rings and then shaking hands.

On Tuesday’s “700 Club” on the Christian Broadcasting Network, Robertson said that gays and lesbians were murdering each other with these rings.

“You know what they do in San Francisco, some in the gay community there they want to get people so if they got the stuff they’ll have a ring, you shake hands, and the ring’s got a little thing where you cut your finger,” Robertson said, in video originally posted by Right Wing Watch. “Really. It’s that kind of vicious stuff, which would be the equivalent of murder.”

Robertson also claimed that the gay community prohibits people from talking about the deadly virus.

“The homosexual community has put these draconian laws on the books that prohibit people from discussing this particular infliction,” Robertson said. “You can tell somebody you got a heart attack, you can tell them they’ve got high blood pressure, but you can’t tell anybody they got AIDS.

An edited version of the video appears on CBN’s website, removing Robertson’s comments.

The televangelist said his comments were misconstrued.

“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 wise [sic] were my remarks meant as an indictment of the homosexual community or, for that fact, to those infected with this dreadful disease,” Robertson told The Atlantic.

Robertson said that he was previously told about shaking hands with gay activists who had AIDS because they would try to infect him.

“In my own experience, our organization 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,” Robertson said to The Atlantic.

The Christian Broadcasting Network is based out of Virginia Beach, Va.

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