Danny Cortez, the pastor of the New Heart Community Church in La Mirada, California will attend a White House reception today along with his fifteen-year old son Drew in honor of Pride month as a guest of President Obama, Pink News reports. Cortez made headlines earlier this month when he announced to his congregation that his son was gay and that he sought to welcome the LGBT community to his church. Some within the Baptist community branded him an ‘apostate’ for contravening The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) constitution that states “explicitly that any congregation that endorses homosexual behavior is 'not in cooperation with the Convention,' and thus excluded from its membership.” Cortez’s own congregation, however, voted to keep him as pastor and become a ‘Third Way’ church.
The New Heart church also issued a statement of support for Cortez and his family:
"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."
Danny and Drew Cortez raised money for their travel to Washington, D.C. through a a successful crowd funding campaign.