Former homophobic Fil-Am pastor becomes LGBT advocate

Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at May 19 2016 06:25 PM

NEW YORK - A New York organization came out with television ads featuring coming out stories from the point of view of parents of LGBT people, including one formerly homophobic Fil-Am pastor who had a change of heart.

The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance or NQAPIA announced Tuesday a groundbreaking family acceptance campaign that aims to help ease the pain of coming out thru a series of TV ads entitled "A family is still a family.".

Filipino-American pastor Danny Cortez of the Southern Baptist Church in La Mirada, California admits he was homophobic.

"Especially in my Christian church upbringing, it was always told that it’s an abomination, and for some reason internally whenever I saw gay people there was this like internal disgust I had," he said.

But after 15 years of meeting and making friends with people in his congregation who came out to him as gay, their stories of coming out opened his eyes to what he describes as the injustices his church has wrought to the members of the LGBT community.

"Maybe we’re interpreting the scriptures wrong. Maybe we need to take a step back and that's when I started doing the research," he said.

Cortez said what he was reading in history did not reflect the real good gay people of today.

"In history, homosexuality was thought of in a different way. It was related to slavery, and it was very abusive, it wasn’t this monogamous loving relationship and that’s why I think scripture condemned it," he said.

And then his son came out at the right time, saying that if he had a pill that would turn him straight, he would still take it.

"If I have a pill to give you that would take your gayness away or change you, as your father I wouldn’t give it to you, because this is who you are and this is who God made you to be," he said.

The homophobic-pastor-turned-LGBTQ-advocate was eventually kicked out from his church for believing that being gay is not an abomination but a creation of god that the church should embrace and not condemn.

Pastor Cortez continues his advocacy through NQAPIA’s family acceptance campaign by telling his own unique story of coming out from the church’s closet as a loving father of a gay son.

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