US: Pastor who defied church to support gay son will attend White House pride reception
A Southern Baptist pastor who defied his church to support gay rights will attend an event at the White House today.
Danny Cortez, who leads the New Heart Community Church in southern California, declared his support for same-sex marriage after his 15-year-old son Drew came out as gay, in spite of the teachings of the Southern Baptist Church.
His public support for gay rights and same-sex marriage contravenes the teachings of the SBC – the largest Protestant denomination in the US – which has in the past passed policy opposing homosexuality.
A statement from New Heart said: “As you know, the Cortez family has recently been under fire for reaching out to those in the LGBT community, who have been marginalized far too long.
“If you know Danny like we do, this is not out of character for him. He’s been standing in the gap, and seeking truth, and fighting for justice, and defending the widow, and loving the homeless—for years and years.
“He leads his family, he shepherds a church, and he has been there for you and me when we’ve needed him most. For good reason, we call him pastor.
“In light of the recent events, of his standing in the gap of our LGBT brothers and sisters, Danny and Drew have been formally invited to a reception with the President at the White House in Washington, D.C. (Yes, you heard right! The White House!). This will take place on June 30.”
Following the success of a crowdfunding campaign for travel costs, Danny and Drew Cortez are set to attend today’s Pride reception , organised by the President.
Earlier this month, New Heart’s congregation voted to back the pastor, and to become a ‘Third Way’ church.