FORT WORTH, TX — A Texas pastor who praised a deadly shooting at a gay nightclub has resigned after admitting to using drugs, gambling and paying for sex.
Donnie Romero, former pastor of the Stedfast Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, apologized in a YouTube video posted Wednesday.
"I want to tell you guys I'm sorry. I've lied to many of the people at our church. Last Wednesday, I resigned, but I didn't tell anybody all the details," he said. "I went to Jacksonville and I went to a casino and I was drinking. And there were girls there that were prostitutes and I committed adultery on my wife multiple times. I drank and gambled multiple times. ... I even smoked weed."
Romero gained national notoriety in 2016 when he voiced support for the gunman behind the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando in which 49 people were slaughtered.
"These 50 sodomites are all perverts and pedophiles, they're the scum of the Earth and the Earth is a better place now and I'll take it a step further," Romero said in a sermon published online by the Dallas Morning News. "I'll pray to God like I did this morning, and I will again tonight, that God will finish the job that that man started."
The Southern Poverty Law Center classified the Stedfast Baptist Church as an anti-LGBT hate group after the incident.
The church posted a separate video on its YouTube page, showing Romero as he broke the news of his departure last week.
"I have been a terrible husband and father," Romero said in a video posted to the church’s official YouTube page. "This is the best decision, for my family and this church, to make."