The true measure of a father’s love comes in his unconditional embrace of his child’s uniqueness
Back in 2014, Rev. Danny Cortez’s son, Drew, came out to him as gay.
Then, Cortez was the pastor of the New Heart Community Church in California.
Instead of being disappointed or upset with his son, the father showed his son acceptance and love, so much so that he even decided to open up to his Southern Baptist congregation about the truth.
Cortez risked being kicked out of the church, but he did it anyway — for his son.
‘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,’ the father told NPR’s StoryCorps in a recent interview. ‘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.’
That day from the pulpit, Cortez shared with the congregation the moment his son came out to him:
‘I was driving my son Drew to school, and he turned over to me and he says, “Dad, I’m gay.” I remember I just turned around and I hugged him so hard. And I said, “I love you so much, son.”‘
The pastor added that he felt ‘at peace because I know my heart has been enlarged,’ even though he knew at that time that he might be terminated in a few weeks.
Watch the sermon here:
‘When I sat down, I felt like this weight had just been lifted out of me, and people knew where we stood,’ Cortez told StoryCorps.
He added: ‘There’s part of me that says, yes, I want to love people that disagree with me, who disagree with us. But the other part of me now is asking, “But how can I do it in way that honors [Drew]?”‘
Listen to his moving recount here:
Following his sermon, Cortez and other members of the congregation ended up leaving the church and formed their own LGBT-inclusive, non-denominational church.
And here’s Drew’s coming out video: