Larry King’s Gay Christian Night: Jennifer Knapp, Clay Aiken, Ted Haggard & Pastor Bob

Larry King Live has quite the lineup tonight. His primo guest is Christian singer Jennifer Knapp, who came out last week, revealing that she’s been in a relationship with a woman since 2002. From the CNN website:

Exclusive!  When she walked away from her successful Christian music career in 2003, fans scratched their heads and wondered why? Now, the popular songstress is ready to talk about her comeback…and her coming out!  It’s been a polarizing topic of discussion within the Christian music industry and by fans.  Can you be both gay…and a Christian?  Hear from both sides of the issue Friday!

But that’s not all. According to QueerSighted, Larry King has also booked Clay Aiken and our least favorite human being, Ted Haggard, as well as Pastor Bob Botsford of the Horizon Christian Fellowship. Bob has a blog. Let’s see what Pastor Bob Bostford has been talking about recently in his recent blog post about Jennifer Knapp:

… there’s no shock to me saying that most Christians who speak against homosexuality are more motivated by hate than love. And as careful as I preface my remarks, sadly there will still be a crowd who cries “foul” and jump to their own conclusion that I’m a hate filled, homo-phobe, preaching bigot that is forcing my perspective down a tolerant culture’s throat. With all my heart, I’m not…

The truth is, every human being is precious to God. In fact so precious that He sent His only son Jesus to suffer and die on a cross to free us from a life of sin. The truth is that God abhors any form of sexual sin, be it premarital sex, adultery, prostitution, or homosexuality…. So I say in love, Jen get out.

Lovely. It sounds a bit scary — putting a newly out human up there with Ted Haggard, who thinks homosexuality is a tendency you can learn to deny via therapy, and Bob Botsford, who allegedly has been praying for Jennifer for like eight years, ’cause he has known about the girlfriend for a long time. We didn’t even know, so.

In the video, Jennifer talks about coming in and spars with Pastor Bob.

That’s GAY takes on the assholes who approve of job discrimination against queers.

This makes me feel better about my own personal debt problems: “Only 58% of [Generation Y-ers] pay their monthly bills on time, says one firm, while another says that 43% of them are building up “too much” credit card debt. (The “too much” threshold is not explained here. But those late fees can’t help!)” Though it’s easy to write these kids off as slackers, I’d suggest that sending kids to overpriced colleges and promising them gainful employment upon graduation only to have the economy crumble in the meantime, might be the real culprit.(@the awl)

in honor of 420 (tuesday), The Daily Beast has American’s 40 Highest Cities! Eureka California is stoned all the time, Manhattan comes in third and San Francisco fifth. Also, Buzzfeed has the most awesomely disturbing photos from 420. (@dailybeast, buzzfeed)

In Northern Afghanistan, an ancient tradition of Bacha Bazi or “boy play” has re-emerged. Hundreds of boys are bought from poor families, dressed in women’s clothing and taught to sing & dance for men who rent the boys out to their friends: “Najibullah Quraishi, an Afghan journalist, investigates this practice, still illegal under Afghan law, talking with the boys, their families, and their masters, exposing the sexual abuse and even murders of the boys, and documenting how Afghan authorities responsible for stopping these crimes are sometimes themselves complicit in the practice. “

While we’re drafting our email to Jezebel about how we want to team up and get some people together and officially begin the fourth wave, they’ve sent Irin to see Jennifer Baumgardner, Amy Richards and Debbie Stoler talk about Feminism & The Future.

On May 14, JetBlue will be chartering “an exclusive rainbow powered flight,” from San Francisco to Long Beach, for $79, to celebrate (and capitalize on its sponsorship of) Long Beach Gay Pride. (@jetblue)

Grace the Spot has a recap of the Go Magazine Nightlife Awards that was attended by lesbians from all boroughs of Manhattan this week, including Autostraddle! It was AWESOME and if you missed it, you must attend Go Magazine’s next gathering. You must! (@gracethespot)

The NYC LGBT Center has replaced the tiny burned flag with a building-sized rainbow cape. (@advocate)

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3213 articles for us.


  1. I know that when I go to work I suddenly have issues controlling my basic bodily functions. Oh wait, no, no I don’t. Who the eff are these people and what crack pipe did they get their ‘facts’ from?!

  2. OMG! I’ve loved Jennifer Knapp for years and always wondered what was behind her total disappearance–glad to know she’s out! I hope she’s happy–and maybe making some non-christian music now?

    • Her new album is on a secular label, and not being marketed to Christian stores. However, she’s said that she’s Christian, and her music is still pretty spiritual. You can listen / DL some of her new stuff on her website.

  3. “people could be aroused by stumps of amputees”

    out of everything in the world THIS is what they came up with?

  4. Breaks my heart to hear that Jennfer Knapp is gay. Love her music! What a struggle she has had to been in behind closed doors. Her song “A Little More” makes more sense to me now…”for all the sin that lives in me it took a nail to set me free now…what I do I don’t want to do and so goes the story”…I love you Jen, your music has touched me many times. My heart goes out to you. I pray you don’t serve the “gay god” now and its cause. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, we all fall short and struggle in our sins. Don’t buy the lie! God be with you Jen!!!! I don’t expect the world to get this I just hope someday you all “Get God”

    • I think you will find there are two gay gods and they are called by mortal men Tegan and Sara.

    • idk pretty sure i saw her at our monthly Church of the Gay God Lasagna Night for the Homeless, so you might be out of luck there

    • Thank you for opening my eyes, Sherri. I’ve always considered myself an atheist, but if there’s a Gay God I’ll have to reconsider my (wide) stance on the matter.

  5. That Afghanistan thing is something I learned about from an ex who was over there. He said they were set to stone this woman who could not get pregnant because the husband said she was no good if she couldn’t have kids. So, the soldiers asked if they could take her to the infirmary to be checked out so that they wouldn’t kill her. When she was examined, they found that she was a virgin. It is common practice, as the article above said, for men to have sex with boys for “fun” and with their wives for procreation. This husband had not been putting it in the right place, because he was used to sex with boys, and had no idea where the vagina was. When they told him what he had to do to get her pregnant, he thought it was “gross”. They did save her life, though.

    He also had a video of a man walking by some goats and he stopped, had sex with the goat for a min, and went on his way.

    And WE are the bad ones?? At least we have consensual relationships with other adults. Of the “sexual sins” that the pastor brought up, only one or two have victims. Of course adultery has a victim and could split up families, and sometimes you could say prostitution has a victim if the person using the services has a sig. other. Otherwise, it is all consensual. How is that worse than abuse? He didn’t bring up beastiality, child abuse, or rape. Those, to me, are the sexual sins that should go with adultery.

    • wait, so in Islam there’s no taboo against male homosexuality? (I’m just assuming he’s Islamic.) or is this practice just prevalent in a specific Afghan province?

      and, whoa about the goat.

    • in some Islamic countries, don’t they flog two adult men who are caught dating each other? i think i’ve read about it in the news, Saudi Arabia i think..

      but how come it seems to be a status symbol for this group to take teen boys as partners? in their society is there this idea that “teenage boys are ok, adult men are not?” what happens to the boys when they grow up?

        • They dont think of themselves as gay at all though and i’ll bet if the fella interviewing them had mentioned homosexuality he would have been in serious trouble. I think as was mentioned in the Doc that it’s easier for the men to get access to male children than it is to get access to women. No one cares if a child disappears or is continuously abused, so they’ll keep doing it which is heartbreaking. It’s a very different world they live in, despite the problems in this country I think im so lucking to have been born here.

  6. That feed from the Freedom Federation.. wtf! I don’t even know. I laughed so hard at this though, “sort of how you are not an asshole but everything you say sounds like farts.” ah god.

  7. YOU go girl!! I’ve not a clue, musically, who you are! All I know is when “Pastor Bob” resorts to quoting Revelation he is way off base. Revelation was written by a de-frocked priest 200 years after Christ died. It was included in King James’ version of the Bible only to SCARE the parishioners into submission to the church. I am a heterosexual Christian and I’m here to tell you that you are welcome as a lesbian in a long list of “main stream” Protestant churches.

  8. i give her alot of credit for coming out. we dont choose this life of discrimination. the lord made us who we are, we do not choose to be homosexual. we are all gods children and we all have one almighty father.. I have been with my partner for 22 yrs and have raised 5 foster children and had one biological child with my partner. our children love us no differently and we respected them and never really exposed them to our life style. They are loving and normal children.
    Religion comes up strongly with gays, we are very spiritual and believe strongly in our faith with god. you can love and not pass judgement on us.. jesus loves us.
    Jennifer your doing the right thing, thanks for standing up for yourself and all your fans. Keep the music flowing and we will always listen.

  9. I am very sorry to hear about Jennifer , deciding that she is doing the right thing when I am sure she knows what the bible says about homosexuals . I know what most people who want to justify this behavior will say that they are born this way . Lets just say just for argument sake that I believe this (which I dont ) the Bible says that we were all born as sinners 1 John 3;8-9 . Now that said ,we know that we are born sinners . This is how we know that we are born sinners ,as a child how many times do we have to show a child the wrong things in life (never ). But rather we have to show them what is right all the time ,because sin is in our nature .So homesexuality is sin as the Bible points out Romans 1 :26-32 God gave them over to Shameful lust even there women exchanged there natural relations for unatural ones .in the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women , and were inflamed in lust for one another .Men commited indecent acts with other men and recievied in themselves due penalty for there perversion. Furthermore, since they did not think it worth while to retain the knowledge of God, He gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought NOT to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed, and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanders, god haters, isolate, arrogant and boastful. They invent ways to do evil, they disobey their parents, they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. althought they know God’s righteaous decree, that those who do such things deserve death. They not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. Leviticus 18:20-22 Do not lie with a man as one lies with a women ;that is DETESTIBLE”. Jude 1:7 God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of homosexuality !!
    Now dont get mad at the messenger God said this !
    The Bible says that you must be Born again John 3:7 . What this means is that we are born sinners and we must die to the old self and become a New person in Christ !
    I know some here will not care what the Bible says ,but those here who call themselves Christians ,let no one fool you it is not exceptable to God . My prayers are with Jennifer , that her eyes will be opened to this decieving lustful Spirit !!!

    • Eddie,

      You went through a lot of trouble to copy and paste to this comment area, so I want to acknowledge the effort you put into preaching this afternoon.

      As a Christian, you are to have the authority to judge the behavior of others only if you honor and obey the word of god. However, your in.ability .to punctuate scripture properly – is not acceptable to the English language Spirit ;inside of me”. Nor do I think it honorable of such an elderly text. Please get your zealotrous paragraphs proofread before you go casting stones at other bones.

      • Punctuation standards FTW!

        Also, can someone pleas explain what exatcly is “expcetable” to God? Enquiring minds want to know…

        • So embarrasing. Two mispellings in a post criticising someone else’s mispelling.
          Autostraddle, I apologise.

    • so* i read and i write a lot. about philosophy. that’s my area. and there is this thing in our discipline, this idea that if you lose people in the first paragraph you’re shit out of luck for the rest of the work. because you need to qualify everything that is going to come next and if you fail to qualify properly (OR you say something horribly offensive) you end up losing people right away and your whole entire point is completely fucked as a result.

      you lost me at “people who want to justify this behavior…”

      Guess what, I am gay and I have absolutely no interest in justifying any part of me to anyone. I don’t think Jennifer does either. I think you lost me on sentence two because even if you managed to qualify what you were saying, you still failed to be anything other than lame and offensive. We’re not in the business of justifying, we’re in the business of living and loving and living and loving and yeah.

      *I’ve been drinking whiskey, and I know if I hadn’t have been I would never feel the need to even comment on this comment because like who cares this is just a random person who came onto AS only b/c of the Jennifer Knapp thing and so I shouldn’t even waste my energy but again I’ve been driving whiskey, so there’s that.

      • As Jennifer said herself, ““I’m quite comfortable to live with parts of myself that don’t make sense to you.”

        Whiskey fueled or not, you’re spot on.

    • Leviticus 11:9-12 says:
      9 These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat.
      10 And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you:
      11 They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination.
      12 Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.

      REPENT REPENT anyone who’s ever eaten shrimp or lobster or anything along the lines of that, shame on you all! Good jebus, what annoys me most about these “christians” is that they feel it is their divine right to pick and choose which parts of the bible they follow. In my opinion, if you are religious, you either follow all parts of the bible and never wear clothes of two fibers, stone adulterers and people who have sex before marriage to death, never eat fruit from a tree older than 3 years and never eat shell fish…or you actually act like a Christian and treat everyone equally and like human beings, just saying! :-)

    • To me, the problem with people who try to use the Bible against homosexuality is when they selectively choose modern English translations of lines from ancient Hebrew or Greek texts with very little or no understanding of the intent, cultural context and languages in which they were originally written.

      There are quite a few people who would be put to death if we were to take all the laws in the OT and apply them to modern times. And there would be quite a few people we would label as immoral monsters and criminals today, whose behaviour was perfectly acceptable two to three thousand years ago amongst the Israelites.

      As far as I can see, homosexuals as we know them today, have nothing to do with the people and behaviour that was condemned in a handful of selected verses from both the OT and NT. Homosexual couples in loving committed relationships and families as we know them today are not even mentioned at all in the Bible.

      From everything I’ve researched, the only mentions of any hint of same-gender sex acts (not homosexuality) are those involved with worship of fertility gods (idolatry) or an abusive act like male/male rape of strangers. Male rape was another common practice in those days- where a male would rape another male-(especially a stranger) to show dominance, contempt and humiliation. Ie treat a man like a woman. This had nothing to do with homosexuality or even lust-the men were more than likely heterosexual (think prisons, or prisoners of war). We know rape is about control and power, not “lust”.

      We no longer have temples to Canaanite or Roman fertility gods where ritual sex acts (both heterosexual and homosexual) with sacred temple prostitutes were used to worship the gods to make the crops grow and the land prosperous. This was a very very common practice in both the time when the Israelites were in the land of Canaan, as well as later in the 1st century Roman empire.

      Yet many people today, who appear to know nothing of the ancient Canaanite practices, or ancient Hebrew culture, or the religious practices common in the 1st century Rome and Corinth, seem to feel so certain that these cherry-picked verses must be referring to homosexuals or homosexuality in general.

      Obviously, the culture was completely different to modern times when the texts in the OT were written. Men could have several wives and concubines and slavegirls. They could kidnap virgin girls from other tribes with the Lord’s approval. The Lord even asked for His percent of the human booty in the form of virgins and slaves. Men could get away with raping a virgin girl as long as they paid a price to the girls father and married her. They could get away with having sex with another man’s slavewoman as long as they gave a ram to the priest to be sacrificed in atonement. Women were chattel whose main value was as a receptacle for men’s seed. Women whose husbands had died had to marry their dead husband’s brother or closest relative to carry on his “seed”.

      These practices are completely ignored by certain modern Christians when they use a verse or two out of context to condemn homosexuals and homosexuality.

      Just how many modern homosexuals are sacred temple prostitutes practicing ritual sex acts in pagan fertility temples so that the local corn crops or wheat fields will be prosperous? If someone wants to say that gay people in a loving relationship are “fornicators” because they aren’t “married”- well fine.

      At least that puts them on the same level as a heterosexual couple who isn’t married.

      But then put it back in context of ancient Hebrew men having several wives, concubines and slavewoman, some of whom would have been kidnapped as young girls from a neighbouring tribe after all the men, women and male children were slaughtered. How does a modern, loving, committed, gay couple compare to that sort of behaviour?? Bevahiour which was perfectly acceptable in ancient times.

  10. I don’t understand why some of these comments are left here.

    from the comment policy:

    Things Autostraddle Will Not Do:
    Allow a comment to remain on our site if it’s deliberately abusive or hateful.

    Do these “blah blah gays are evil blah” comments not count?

    • Hm, comment moderation isn’t my thing (Sarah/Rachel do that) but at least to me, it seems so ridiculous and silly that it’s almost funny rather than directly abusive or hateful, like the people commenting on our Tila Tequila interview that they wanted to kill/rape/assault Tila Tequila for being a skanky whore or whatever (which we had to delete. We deleted more comments on that thread than any other, ever!)

      Also I guess I enjoy everyone’s comebacks.

      I think dissent is valuable especially when it comes from people who are making the arguments that are taken seriously by people legislating our relationships in this country — in the past we’ve had homophobes come on here and we’ve taken on their arguments and actually changed some minds. As opposed to like “she’s a fat ugly bitch” which is just dumb and not an opinion of any kind worth anyone’s attention and therefore would be deleted.

      What do you think?

      • I don’t think Eddie is interested in conversation. He’s not going to change his mind about our “deceiving lustful spirits” whatever that means. He might not even come back to this page.

        I think dissent is fine, but I don’t think comments about Constance McMillen and her “filthy fag antics”, for example, contribute anything worthwhile to a discussion. That’s another comment I’ve seen left up.

        I understand your reasoning, though. And I know it would be a bad move to delete a comment that has become a part of the conversation, as it has in both of these cases.

        I’d be interested in reading the discussion where the homophobe’s mind was changed, if you remember where that was.

        • Hi Brianna! As roughly half of Autostraddle’s comment moderation team, I can share my thoughts on this. It’s really important to us to maintain a balance between Autostraddle being a safe place for our regular readers, and being a kind of openminded and upfront place where people can say what they think and feel without fearing repercussions. It’s tough b/c it’s a slippery slope; I disagree strongly with what that dude up there said, obviously, but I also disagree with people who say that “Teeth” was a bad song, and I can’t go deleting those comments because that would be dumb. Obviously what Eddie said was different in that it comes from a place of bigotry, and I’m genuinely sorry if allowing comments like that is making Autostraddle feel like a less comfortable place for you or anyone else. But I personally value free speech so highly that I really hesitate to delete any comment unless, like Riese said with the Tila story, it literally calls for bodily harm to another person.

          And as Riese also said, I really do think these comments are funny. Like, seriously, that was like eight paragraphs up there, what is his deal? And on a similar note, as much as comments like that have me shaking my head sometimes, the fact that so many of our smart and sassy and super well educated readers swoop in to correct these people makes me feel way better than the original comment makes me feel bad, and I hope others feel the same way. It also makes me feel good, knowing that we delete very very few comments, to see how few homophobic stuff actually shows up here. Do you know what I mean?

          I actually hadn’t caught the comment you mentioned about Constance – I’m sorry, that’s my job! I’ll go back and check for it now. If you have any feedback about the comment policy, though, we’re always happy to hear it! Feel free to email me if you have thoughts on this.

          • i think you guys should look for a thumbs up/ thumbs down WordPress plugin (is there one?) and if there’s some lame nonsensical comment but it’s not bad enough to delete, we can just thumb it down to oblivion, but the comment is still there, just hidden. and anyone can click to expand it if they want to read what that is.

          • Okay Rachel, you will be the first I email if I ever start to feel like I’m reading the ‘homosexual agenda’ section of FreeRepublic instead of Autostraddle.

            In the mean time, I’m going to go create a blog so that I can get comments from trolls and then delete them while cackling maniacally.

    • The only thing these comments make me feel is mild embarrassment on behalf of other Christians who are capable of having thoughtful and reasoned opinions on such issues, and can even punctuate.

      It still baffles me why people like this bother posting comments. If I was truly interested in changing someone’s opinion about something, I’d at least try and use an effective form of engagement; does anyone really think that spouting firebrand rhetoric is going have any positive impact on readers of a site who are demonstrably liberal, intelligent and appreciative of good sentence structure?

      I mean, seriously, if I was a religious fundamentalist trying to convert the readers of autostraddle, I would probably lure them to a website called and dazzle them with infographics so beautiful, yet informative, that they can only have been designed by the hand of god.

  11. The cost of higher education is ridiculous. I don’t like how education is such a business :(

    Ooh … I’m so intrigued by this bacha bazi thing. Off to watch the entire show (yay for free streaming).

  12. Great Daily fix today. So much interesting/ awesome/ hilarious stuff.

    Just watched the whole Bacha Bazi thing. The saddest thing about it was that although they helped out one little boy, there are thousands of others that will go unnoticed. This kind of abuse in such a corrupt society just breaks my heart.

    Also, Eddie, do you not know where you are?

  13. This isnt about one sin versus another sin or judging one another. The word of God is what is at stake here. It comes simply down to this. Either the word of God is true or it is a lie. Jennifer Knapp has decided it is a lie, written long ago and misinterpreted. WHether that be a homosexual or a liar, murderer, or an adulterer that would say “there” given part of sin that is mentioned in the Bible is erroneous and other people start to believe, “well if that part is old and misunderstood than so is that part and all the way to, so is the part about Jesus being the only way, truth, life”. WHere do we stop dissecting it for “our own Way”, “our own Truth” and “our own Life”. This is NOT about homosexuality!! WHat is on trial is the word of God! Yes we all sin but I don’t exalt my sin and say it is ok and God’s word is a lie. That is what makes me sick. So come out if you feel the need to come out but don’t attack the Word of God! People, don’t go blind just cause someone is blowing smoke in your eyes!

    • i went to a Catholic school for over a decade (ughhhh) and even our by-the-book teachers never said gays are sinners.

      they just said, well, stay gay but stay celibate. and they even said gay attraction is not a sin as long as you don’t act on it.

      i know that’s no better, but technically in theology gay doesn’t automatically = sinner. and i know this because i actually did well in useless things like theology (while not believing a single thing) while doing poorly in Math.

      and technically in Church, they accept that homosexuality is not a sin, homosexual acts are. if no gay person has sex ever, or straight people never have sex ever before marriage, then they aren’t sinners.

      basically they just don’t want anyone to have sex ever. i swear, there’s an encyclical or some such newsletter or something on this. i just don’t remember what it’s called because i try to forget every christian thing i’ve studied.

      obviously i don’t believe any of this. however, if you’re going to pretend to be an expert on the word of God when you’re acting self righteous, you should at least try to be consistent.

    • What sinful homoerotic activity is “blowing smoke in someone’s eyes” a euphemism for? In any case, it sounds just like the kind of thing I would intensely exalt! I hope it actually includes the blowing of smoke! Fun!

      • It’s a bit like blowing smoke up someone’s arse, except there’s less chance of God smiting you.

    • hi sherri i would just like to add that the bible, which is loaded with rules that are no longer necessary in the modern world (e.g., we’re reproducing our people just fine now and no longer need to fear men lying with other men, and we’re able to clean our shellfish properly and therefore don’t need to fear eating it), actually doesn’t say anything about lesbians. it’s just dudes. so if we’re really going to get literal (which is actually impossible as someone else pointed out, translated texts are never consistent especially when translated by people with distinct political agendas), then Jennifer Knapp is good to go anyhow, ’cause she’s a lady!

  14. Pingback: ep 149 – Nick and Josh Conversate » The Nick & Josh Podcast

  15. I have to agree with @Krrru. I watched the whole thing (it was a train wreck that I couldn’t get enough of). And Ted can SAY all he wants that he’s completely free of homosexuality, in that interview, he sounded like a completely different man that the one who made us want to throw up a little while ago. Maybe not gay, but definitely willing to avoid throwing any stones.

    And as some one who is a believer, a lesbian, and has my own issues with the Church I believe that Christianity (Jesus/God) has room for all the gays. Jesus preached love and acceptance and non-judgement and Pastor Bob and his elk have moved a looog way from WWJD. They need to f-ing regroup.

    That is all.

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