WATCH: Church Cancels Gay Man's Funeral


A man’s funeral was cancelled after the church discovered that he was gay and married, NBC has reported.


No secret: Julion’s partner says “everyone” knew they were a gay couple

42 year-old Julion Evans-Capers, with an address in Tampa, Florida, died last month after a four year battle with a Amyloidosis, a rare disease that attacks the body’s internal organs.

During the wake ceremony of the deceased man, as Evan Caper’s mother stood by the coffin of her son, The New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, which the family had regularly attended, phone-called her to say that the funeral was cancelled.

The decision was an abrupt one – the funeral was due to take place the next day, but the church said it would be “blasphemy” for them to hold a memorial service for her son, because he had been married to a man.

Ms Atwood told NBC, “It was devastating. I did feel like he was being denied the dignity of death”.

Pastor TW Jenkins attempted to defend the church’s decision, claiming they had not known about the marriage until the last minute. He explained, “Based on the preaching of the scripture, it would have been in error to allow the service at the 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 on my principles”.

Julion’s partner of 17 years, Kendall Capers told News Channel 8, “Everyone who knew us knew about our relationship. We didn’t keep secrets. This is 2014, this is not the 60s or the 70s. So at the end of the day I just want his wrong-doing to be exposed”.

Causing further distress to the family, who scrambled to make new funeral arrangements for their loved one in less than 24 hours, some mourners arrived at the New Hope church and as a result missed the funeral.

Capers concluded that the way the church handled the decision was the hardest part, calling it “disrespectful and wrong”.

Watch Kendall Capers interview with News Channel 8 below.

WFLA News Channel 8

© 2014 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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