Main | Friday, August 08, 2014

FLORIDA: Church Cancels Man's Funeral After Learning That He Was Gay

Via Tampa's WFLA-TV:
Julie Atwood was standing at her son's casket when the phone rang. The church where her son's funeral was scheduled to be held the next day decided to abruptly cancel the service, after the pastor learned the deceased was gay and his obituary listed a surviving "husband." Atwood said she was told it would be "blasphemous" to hold the services at the church because her son, Julion Evans, 42, was gay. "It was devastating," she said. "I did feel like he was being denied the dignity of death." Evans' husband, Kendall Capers, says the pair were partners for 17 years and married last year in Maryland. Evans died at home after a 4-year battle with a rare illness called Amyloidosis, which destroys organs in the body. He says the obituary named him as "husband," and that their marriage was no secret. "Everyone who knew us knew about our relationship," he said. "We didn't keep secrets."
Pastor T.W. Jenkins says that he didn't know that Evans was gay until members of the congregation called to complain after seeing his husband named in the obituary. Jenkins: "Based on our preaching of the scripture, we would have been in error to allow the service in our church. I'm not trying to condemn anyone's lifestyle, but at the same time, I am a man of God, and I have to stand up for my principles."

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