Viri Hernandez, Undocumented Activist, Criticizes District 8 Candidate Pastor Warren Stewart For Stance of Gay Issues

Categories: Election 2013

"I think he freely admits that as a Baptist minister, 'Same-sex marriage in the church is not something I'm going to be able to do," Phelps says. "But when it comes to civil unions and all the benefits, his view is that, 'I'm there for you, and I'll fight with you.'"

Stewart, senior pastor of the First Institutional Baptist Church, came under fire from the LGBT community for a letter he wrote after President Barack Obama publicly supported same-sex marriage.

However, he did acknowledge, in an early speech he gave, the struggles of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community, just as he did those of the undocumented.

"Let's face it, we have things to talk about," Stewart said in his speech, including pathways to citizenship among those things. "We need to reach out to the Latino community and the LGBT community - and make their challenges our own."

He continued:

To my friends in the LGBT community, I tell you today, as I would have told you yesterday, that anyone who wants to deny you and your partner medical benefits, adoption rights, hospital visitation rights, or if anyone wants to discriminate against you when it comes to housing or employment, you will have to take that fight through me."

Yes, I know, as a Baptist minister, I may not perform a same-sex wedding at my church.
Most people really do understand that. But outside the church, if you want to talk about Civil Unions, like our friends in Bisbee did ... I will come to that table. I will have that conversation. I will reach out to you."

(Bisbee has become the first Arizona city to legalize same-sex marriage.)

Hernandez says plainly that Stewart is "no champion for justice."

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Hey can I write a letter trashing someone and get in the New Times? I am sure Viri woke up one morn and said why don't I write a letter? Come on, sounds like she was promised something to do so. 

I don't see any news conferences or releases from our LGBTQ community of which I am a proud and open member of. I support marriage but guess what... that does not put bread on my table. 

Jobs do. And I want to live in a clean and safe Phoenix 

Lets picket his church if we are so riled up about the evil pastor. Don't expect me there though I have to work, along with my partner, to pay the bills.


@itsadryheat  You are "sure Viri woke up one morn and said why don't I write a letter?"  It's obvious that you don't know Viri,  and you are full of shit.  You make baseless assertions just like Pastor Stewart.

BoycottTheEvilPastor 1 Like

I think we should boycott the Church. Stewart is an evil man.He hates all.

WhyAlltheAngerMonica 1 Like

I ask sincerely why all the negative reporting on Stewart?

I do not read anything reviewing the other campaigns in District 8. As a voter, it would nice to read and have analysis their positions and vision for the future.  I am curious if you then are planning separate articles extolling the virtues/and discrediting of the other candidates. And yes, I am aware of the Robinson and Widland-Gallego campaigns specifically targeting you to pitch such articles.

 I am disappointed Monica.


@WhyAlltheAngerMonica  I would blame Pastor Stewart' own words for the negative reporting. Why does he want to scapegoat the LGBT community for "widespread dysfunction of marriage and family?"  He needs to apologize for this baseless and bigoted assertion. 

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