Televangelist Pat Roberson, the host of the Christian Broadcasting Network's The 700 Club, is stepping up his anti-gay rhetoric in the wake of gay rights victories. Tuesday, he advised a mother to love her gay son who is going to hell, adding that being gay was a result of abuse.

“I am not at all persuaded that so-called homosexuals are homosexuals because of biological problems. There may be a very few, but there are so many that have been made homosexuals because of a coach or a guidance counselor or some other male figure who has abused them and they think there's something wrong with their sexuality,” Robertson said in answering a letter from a mother asking for advice on how to reconcile her faith and having a gay son.

“[Y]ou need to get deep into why he is what he is, instead of just saying, 'Well, he's a homosexual so how do I handle him, and how do I be Christian?'”

Robertson told the mother, Theresa, to love her son, but added she must tell him the truth: “Well, I mean, if somebody's on their way to hell, they'll – I mean, you've got to love them to rescue them.”

Last month, on the day after Maine legalized gay marriage, Robertson called allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry “the beginning in a long downward slide” to legalized child molestation.

“We haven't taken this to its ultimate conclusion,” Robertson told viewers.

“How can we rule that polygamy is illegal when you say that homosexual marriage is legal. … And what bout bestiality and ultimately what about child molestation and pedophilia? … You mark my words, this is just the beginning in a long downward slide in relation to all the things that we consider to be abhorrent.”

Weeks earlier, Robertson suggested a hate crimes bill currently before Congress that protects gay, lesbian and transgender persons against violent bias-related crimes would protect someone who “likes to have sex with ducks” or “little boys.”

“You got somebody, he's really weird, and his sexual orientation is that he likes to have sex with ducks. Is he protected under hate crime? Is he protected if he likes to have sex with little boys?” Robertson asked.

Robertson's anti-gay attacks come in the wake of a wave of victories for gay rights advocates, including the legalization of gay marriage in four states this year, and a recent upturn of public support for gay and lesbian rights.