When his son came out as gay two years ago, this pastor went above and beyond in order to support him.
Not only that, reverend Danny Cortez, decided to speak to his Southern Baptist congregation about it after Drew came out as gay.
He did so, despite the risk that he would be kicked out for speaking about it.
He tells NPR: “That morning I came to church, my blood pressure was super high. I felt so much stress, and everyone was wondering what’s going on.”
Adding: “But I remember as I was speaking, I felt empowered like I hadn’t felt in such a long time. I knew that what I was sharing that Sunday was important.”
Of the coming out, Reverend Cortez said his son turned to him when he was driving him to school and said: “Dad I’m gay”.
He says: “I remember I just turned around and I hugged him so hard. And I said, ‘I love you so much, son.’”
Of the risk that he would be kicked out of the Southern Baptist church for opening up about his son, he said: “I’m at peace. I’m at peace because I know my heart has been enlarged.”
While recognising that the struggle had been harder on his son than it would have been on him, he says: “I felt like this weight had just been lifted out of me, and people knew where we stood.”
He recalls the word “abomination” being used to describe him and his son, when he said was “difficult to hear”, mainly because they don’t know him or his son.
In the end, Reverend Cortez went on to form the LGBT-inclusive New Heart Community Church.