The Texas pastor who gained notoriety for praising the murder of “perverts” in the Pulse nightclub massacre is back in the spotlight again after being ousted from his church after admitting that he took drugs and paid for prostitutes.
Donnie Romero, the former pastor of Stedfast Baptist Church in Fort Worth, this week admitted that he had slept with prostitutes, smoked marijuana, and gambled. As the Dallas News reported, Romero had come under fire after the 2016 shooting at an Orlando gay bar that left 49 people dead when he condemned the victims and for his refusal to apologize or to budge from his anti-gay stance.
This week, Romero admitted to allegations that he had used drugs and paid for prostitutes as he was ousted from the church. Romero said one of the indiscretions took place during a trip to Jacksonville, Florida, where the church has a satellite location.
Romero still stuck to his anti-gay stances, though did apologize for his behavior.
“I haven’t changed anything I believe,” Romero said in an apology video posted online. “I’m sorry that the church’s name is being dragged through the mud now.”
Romero’s church is notoriously anti-LGBT, and the Dallas News noted that it was designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Romero had been unapologetic in his stance, saying in 2016 that people who were killed in the massacre were “scum of the earth” and that he would pray “that God will finish the job that man started.”
Donnie Romero is not the only anti-gay pastor to get into some legal trouble in recent months. Last year, Timothy Lee Reddin was arrested for trying to arrange a meeting with who he believed was an underage boy for sex. As the LGBT news site Queerty noted, Reddin had a reputation for anti-gay sermons as the leader of his small congregation in Arkansas.
Reddin, who had previously been convicted of possession of child pornography, was accused of trying to arrange sex with a 14-year-old boy, who was really an undercover agent working with the Department of Homeland Security Investigations team. Investigators said Reddin told the boy he could help teach him how to have sex for the first time, and sent pictures of male genitalia.
Pastor Donnie Romero in 2016 called Pulse shooting victims “scum.”— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) January 5, 2019
Now he’s in the news for a different reason ...https://t.co/HdZFGOoRaP
After his arrest, Reddin was ousted from his teaching position at Ecclesia College.
It was not clear what Donnie Romero planned to do next, but in his apology to churchgoers he said they would “probably never see [him] again.”