Televangelist Pat Robertson on Wednesday struggled to understand why homosexuality was no longer considered a mental illness, but said that he approved of gender reassignment surgery.

In response to a viewer who asked if her gay nephew needed to pray for himself to be helped, Robertson recalled that homosexuality was considered to be a personality disorder by the American Psychiatric Association until 1973.

"A few years ago the psychiatrists, the psychologists used to say that homosexuality was a mental illness," the TV preacher remarked. "Now, the Supreme Court has said that it is a protected right."

“So what’s he going to pray about? Is he going to say something is wrong and he’s unhappy? And if he’s unhappy and realizes he is doing something that makes him miserable, you might help him.”

Robertson said that the solution was to show the gay nephew the Bible because "the Bible is explicit" that homosexuality is a sin.

"Now I understand and I've mentioned on this program that people that need a sex change operation -- in other words, it's a woman that's trapped in a man's body, a man trapped in a woman's body -- and they really need some hormones and surgery to get the thing lined up, that's one thing," he opined. "But this other -- many, many people are into this [homosexual] lifestyle because they have been abused as a child and so forth."

"You can pray that the Lord will show him his love and his truth and out of that he will find an acceptance of where God has for him."

Watch this video from The 700 Club, broadcast Dec. 4, 2013.

(h/t: Right Wing Watch)