A Southern Baptist pastor who came out in support of gay rights and against his church's position on homosexuality says it was difficult to hear “abomination” and his gay son's name in the same sentence.

Pastor Danny Cortez changed his mind after his son Drew came out to him in 2014.

Despite the very real possibility that he could lose his job, Cortez revealed his new position to his congregation in a church sermon. “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.'”

In a StoryCorp conversation, father and son reflected on that moment.

“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 elder Cortez said. “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.”

“I felt vulnerable,” said Drew Cortez, who was sitting in the pews that day. “”I just remember thinking what was going to happen after this. This is our life now.”

The father said that he had heard his son's name paired with the word “abomination” in the same sentence.

“As a father it was so difficult to hear that, because we felt like they didn't know our son,” he said. “There's a 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 [a] way that honors you?'”

The speech caused the congregation to split, with Danny Cortez and other members going on to form an LGBT-inclusive, nondenominational church.