Verity Baptist Church

Hours after the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub that left 49 dead and 53 people injured, Pastor Roger Jimenez took to the pulpit at the Verity Baptist Church in Sacramento and praised Omar Mateen for making Orlando "a little safer."

"Hey, are you sad that 50 pedophiles were killed today?" the pastor asked rhetorically to his congregation, first. "Um, no. I think that's great. I think that helps society."


Video of the sermon was uploaded to the Baptist church's official YouTube account later that evening before being swiftly pulled down for violating the site's policy on hate speech.

But this was far from Jimenez's only homophobic comment made that day. In another clip from a separate sermon given earlier (and uploaded to the church's YouTube page today), Jimenez misconstrues pioneering research from the Kinsey Institute about the sexual practices and mental health of gay men.

"Seventy-five percent of homosexuals [admit to having] 100 plus partners," Jimenez can be seen saying. "I mean, think about that. Think about what it would take to have 100 partners who you had a physical relationship with. See this idea of like 'Oh, we just want to get married' and 'We're going to be faithful to each other' and 'We're going to be just like a married couple that gets married and then they're just together for the rest of our lives and we're not out doing anything else and it's just this pure relationship' that doesn't exist in this community of sodomy."

Alan P. Bell, the Kinsey researcher that Jimenez quotes, was actually one of the most vocal supporters of LGBT acceptance who played a central role in redefining the way that queer sexualities were understood by the scientific community.


When Bell and his researching partner Martin S. Weinberg published their findings in Homosexualities: a study of diversity among men and women, they made sure to qualify their statements. The two point out that the stigma surrounding homosexuality at the time made it nearly impossible to say whether or not the participants of their study were reflective of the larger gay community.

"Given the variety of circumstances which discourage homosexuals from participating in research studies," they wrote. "It is unlikely that any investigator will ever be in a position to say that this or that is true of a given percentage of all homosexuals.”

In 1968, Bell, along with his researching partner Martin S. Weinberg, surveyed 1,500 self-identified gay men living in pre-AIDS San Francisco about their sex lives to ascertain whether gay people were, as many thought at the time, mentally ill and socially maladjusted.


In the process of speaking to the study's participants, Bell and Weinberg found that the relationships gay people formed were more or less similar to those formed by heterosexual couples. Gay men, like their straight counterparts, enjoyed sex because sex is fun, not because they were molested as children or grew up in broken homes. Together, Bell and Weinberg became two of the leading scientific voices for the idea that homosexuality, like all forms of sexuality, has perfectly natural roots in biology.

''No particular phenomenon of family life can be singled out, on the basis of our findings, as especially consequential for either homosexual or heterosexual development,'' the team told The New York Times in 1981. ''What we seem to have identified is a pattern of feelings and reactions within the child that cannot be traced back to a single social or psychological root; indeed, homosexuality may arise from a biological precursor that parents cannot control.''

Bell foresaw that his findings would likely draw criticism from both the far-left radical sect of the LGBT community that wasn't interested in seeking mainstream acceptance and from conservatives like Jimenez whose rhetoric would be undermined by the data.


Many of the team's findings are commonly stripped of their sociological context, making it easier to demonize gay men for having sex with one another. Later, similar research published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the sexual practices in the gay male community had changed drastically by 1994.

"Of 1,450 men in the sample, only two were reported to have had 100 or more same-sex partners," Richard C. Friedman and Jennifer I. Downey wrote. "The inconsistency in the data on the number of sexual partners of homosexual men probably reflects flaws in the sampling techniques of the earlier studies (e.g., recruiting subjects in gay bars) and their completion before the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic."

In the hours following the church deciding to share Jimenez's views on the victims of the Orlando shooting, there have been calls for the organization to be penalized. The church declined to comment on the backlash to the videos.


"Verity Baptist Church and their asshole pastor should be ashamed of themselves," a gay man from Tarzana, Calif., posted to Facebook. "If you and your asshole pastor are going to spew such hate, you should lose your tax-exempt status. You are not practicing religion, you are a just another business that is perpetuating hate."

Similarly, Sacramento mayor Johnson condemned the church and accused it of bearing no resemblance to his particular brand of Christianity.