Eric Walsh doubles as an associate pastor at Altadena Seventh-day Adventist Church. Some of his sermons discussing homosexuality sparked outrage among several students.
Walsh spoke about the slow integration of homosexuals on TV and how a few gay characters helped shift public views on gay rights and marriage.
"How do you go from what we had in the 70s to gay marriage? Thirty years and you have a huge jump in thought. How do you do it if you are the devil? Television," Walsh said in his sermon.
In other sermons, Walsh called evolution a satanic religion, and compared Oprah and Jay-Z to the anti-Christ.
Members of Pasadena City College's group "Students for Social Justice" took to Facebook, posting concerns over Walsh, who was supposed to be the school's commencement speaker.
"I just thought it would be totally inappropriate for him be a commencement speaker at a college and to send people on their way, when this guy is spreading messages basically denouncing what this institution stands for," Rodriguez said.
In light of the comments, Pasadena has placed Walsh on paid leave.
Pasadena City Manager Michael Beck said the city needed "to complete an inquiry into statements made by him in his private capacity."
The city also planned to evaluate Walsh's "ability to effectively lead the city's Public Health Department," Beck said.