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Pastor Who Lauded the Killing of 'Queers' Resigns Due to 'Sins'

Donnie Romero

Texas minister Donnie Romero had reportedly patronized sex workers and used marijuana -- but did not renounce his hateful views.

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A minister who celebrated the killing of LGBTQ people at Orlando's Pulse nightclub has resigned his position at a Texas church because of "sins" that included patronizing sex workers and using marijuana.

Donnie Romero told his congregation at Stedfast Baptist Church in Fort Worth January 2 that he was stepping down as pastor because he has been "a terrible husband and father." He did not provide details in his resignation message, which was posted in a YouTube video (watch below), but a fellow homophobic minister who appeared with him, Steven Anderson, said in a separate video that "the major sin involved was being with prostitutes, and then there were also marijuana and gambling." Anderson did not specify the sex workers' gender.

Romero responded to the mass shooting at Pulse in 2016 with this rant: "These 50 sodomites are all perverts and pedophiles, and they are the scum of the earth, and the earth is a little bit better place now. And I'll take it a step further, because I heard on the news today, that there are still several dozen of these queers in ICU and intensive care. And I will pray to God like I did this morning, I will do it tonight, I'll pray that God will finish the job that that man started, and he will end their life, and by tomorrow morning they will all be burning in hell, just like the rest of them, so that they don't get any more opportunity to go out and hurt little children."

Romero founded Stedfast, described on its website as an "independent fundamental Baptist church," in 2014. It has recently opened branches in Jacksonville, Fla., and Oklahoma City. It has been listed as an anti-LGBTQ hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center since 2015.

The church notes on its site that it uses only the King James Version of the Bible, which was commissioned by King James I of England -- who was most likely gay, according to numerous scholars.

Before founding Stedfast, Romero attended Anderson's Faith Word Baptist Church in Phoenix, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Anderson, a leader in the independent fundamentalist movement, has said LGBTQ people are "basically rapists" and should be put to death in order to eradicate AIDS. When Barack Obama was president, Anderson prayed for his death.

The new pastor of Stedfast promises to be more of the same. Anderson said he met with about 40 men from the congregation Friday night and they unanimously approved Jonathan Shelley as pastor (apparently women did not get to vote). Shelley, who comes from Pure Words Baptist Church in Houston, is known for anti-LGBTQ rants such as this one, from October:

"They hate God. God has already given them up. That's the reason they're doing these vile, disgusting things. They're beasts, they're wicked, they're abominable, they're filthy today."

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring, The Advocate's copy chief, has spent much of her journalistic career covering the LGBT movement. When she's not fielding questions about grammar, spelling, and LGBT history, she's sharing movie trivia or classic rock lyrics.
Trudy Ring, The Advocate's copy chief, has spent much of her journalistic career covering the LGBT movement. When she's not fielding questions about grammar, spelling, and LGBT history, she's sharing movie trivia or classic rock lyrics.