A Southern Baptist church in California has elected against ousting a pastor who came out in support of gay rights and against the Southern Baptist Convention's (SBC) official position on homosexuality.

Pastor Danny Cortez told elders at New Heart Community Church of La Miranda, California that he no longer believes that being gay is a sin.

In a letter posted at Patheos, Cortez explained that he changed his mind on the subject last August and that his son Drew came out to him last fall. In a YouTube video posted in February, Drew discussed coming out to his family.

“One day, while in a car ride with my dad to school, the song Same Love by Macklemore came on the radio,” Drew said in the nearly 15-minute video. “And my dad mentioned something like he loved the song and what the song had to say. I asked him what his thoughts were on the whole gay issue. He told me that he kind of had a change of heart and that he no longer thought it was a sin. And then he asked me what I thought. And I could tell that he was trying to pull it out of me. And that's when I told him that I was gay. We hugged and we cried in the middle of the parking lot and we talked for like 45 minutes.”

Two days after Drew posted his video, Cortez declared his position.

“I realize that it's grounds for termination,” Cortez is seen telling congregants in a YouTube video. “I realize that his might be my last message.”

But on May 18, the congregation voted against firing Cortez and for becoming a “Third Way” church, which is neutral on the issue. Some who disagree with the outcome said they would leave the church.

Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a vocal opponent of gay rights, rejected the church's “third way” position in a June 2 blog post.

“I am confident that the Southern Baptist Convention will act in accordance with its own convictions, confessions of faith, and constitution when messengers to the Convention gather next week in Baltimore,” Mohler wrote. “But every single evangelical congregation, denomination, mission agency, school, and institution had better be ready to face the same challenge, for it will come quickly, and often from an unexpected source.”

(Related: Southern Baptists' Al Mohler likens homosexuality to cancer.)