Baptist Pastor Who No Longer Believes Homosexuality Is a Sin Is Obama’s Guest at White House LGBT Pride Month Reception

U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama host a reception to observe LGBT Pride Month at the White House June 30, 2014 in Washington, DC. Pool/Getty Images North America
U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama host a reception to observe LGBT Pride Month at the White House June 30, 2014 in Washington, DC.
Pool/Getty Images North America

The Los Angeles-area Baptist pastor whose church split after he announced he no longer believes all homosexual acts are sinful was President Obama’s guest at the White House LGBT Pride Month reception Monday (June 30).

Danny Cortez, pastor of New Heart Community Church in La Mirada, Calif., attended the reception with his son Drew, who Cortez said in a Feb. 9 sermon is gay.

At the reception, Obama acknowledged open homosexuals serving in his administration and said 11 openly gay federal judges have been confirmed by the Senate, including 10 during his administration.

“This tremendous progress we’ve made as a society is thanks to those of you who fought the good fight, and to Americans across the country who marched and came out and organized to secure the rights of others,” Obama said at the reception. “So I want to thank all of you for making the United States a more just and compassionate place. I want to thank you for offering support and guidance to our administration. Because of your help, we’ve gone further in protecting the rights of lesbian and gay and bisexual and transgender Americans than any administration in history.”

New Heart Community Church voted May 18 on four options following Cortez’s announcement in February of his newfound position on homosexuality: terminate him and maintain the traditional view that homosexuality is sinful; take more time to consider the issue; establish New Heart as a “third way” church, neither affirming or condemning homosexuality but “agreeing to disagree”; or become a fully gay-affirming church.

After two rounds of voting, no option received the two-thirds majority that the congregation had agreed would be necessary. Amid unresolvable deadlock, the church divided into two groups, holding their final service together June 8.

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SOURCE: Baptist Press
David Roach