Televangelist Pat Robertson on Monday defended an Ecuadorian preacher's homophobic comments and said that LGBT people could change their "orientation," just like God could change murderers and rapists.

The Huffington Post reported earlier this year that evangelical preacher Nelson Zavala had his political rights revoked after he said that homosexuality was "immoral" while he was campaigning for president.

"For somebody to say that a homosexual can change is somehow a hate crime -- it is a hate crime to say that somebody can change their sexual preference, that that's a hate crime?" Robertson opined on Monday. "That's what's going to happen, ladies and gentlemen. Mark that down and fight for freedom because that man's freedom of speech is being taken away."

"And the idea that anybody who has ministered to thousands of people -- as undoubtedly he has and others have in that church in Ecuador -- know very well that the power of God can change people's orientation. A murderer can change, a rapist can change, a thief can change. That's what the gospel is all about. It's not a hate crime."

Watch this vide from CBN's The 700 Club, broadcast May 6, 2013.

(h/t: Right Wing Watch)