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Pasadena public health director placed on paid leave

Pasadena's public health director Dr. Eric Walsh has been placed on paid administrative leave after comments surfaced this week regarding a sermon he gave in 2006 where he criticized public schools for making homosexuality acceptable.

Pasadena City Manager Michael J. Beck said on Thursday, May 1 that the temporary paid administrative leave will "provide the City of Pasadena the opportunity to complete an inquiry into statements made by him, in his private capacity, and to assess the impact those statements may have on his ability to effectively lead the City’s Public Health Department."

He had been invited to give the commencement address at Pasadena City College after filmmaker and LGBT activist Dustin Lance Black was initially asked to give the address. That invitation was rescinded and reinstated after a 90-minute closed door meeting Wednesday evening.

The news release acknowledges that Dr. Walsh made the statement in his "private capacity."

Dr. Vivian Yeh is the city’s Acting Health Officer.

Dr. Welsh is a Seventh Day Adventist pastor in Altadena. On Wednesday, April 30 the Pasadena Star News noted the church's website as stating he gives sermons around the country. The site also mentioned Dr. Welsh served on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS and said, "He is dedicated to serving the Lord through his preaching and medical ministries."

On Thursday, 5 of 8 landing pages containing podcasts and other materials were being updated and no further information was available.