NBC Local on Aug. 8, reported that the pastor of a church called a grieving mother during the wake as she was standing over her son's coffin. He informed her he was canceling her son’s funeral that was scheduled the next day. The reason he gave was because the deceased man was gay and having a funeral at the church would be "blasphemous."
T.W. Jenkins, pastor of the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Tampa said he was unaware that the man was gay when he agreed to conduct the funeral. He claimed it wasn't until he saw in the obituary that a husband of the deceased was listed as a survival.
Wfla News reports that the pastor said that his church preaches against gay marriages. He told the local media that it would have been an error to allow the funeral at the church.
The woman's late son Julion Evans, 42, died at home after a 4-year-battle with a rare illness called Amyloidosis, an illness that causes abnormal protein produced in the bone marrow.
Evans' husband, Kendall Capers, stated that the pair were partners for 17 years and married last year in Maryland. He says the obituary named him as "husband," and that their marriage was no secret because everyone who knew them knew about their relationship. Capers said he could understand the church's position more so than understanding how the pastor would cancel the funeral within 24 hours of its scheduled time. Capers said he thought it was disrespectful to cancel the funeral at the wake at the time was the mother was grieving and thinking the funeral arrangements were in place.
At the last minute, the funeral was changed to a different location. Because it was not at the location listed in the newspaper obituary, many mourners showed up at the church where the funeral was originally scheduled. So they missed showing their last respects to the family of the deceased man.
What do you think about the pastor's decision?