A Colorado pastor abruptly cancelled the funeral of a lesbian woman after realizing that a video montage to be shown at service showed the woman with her partner.
Christian Today reports that the funeral for Vanessa Collier, 33, had been going on for 15 minutes when Pastor Ray Chavez halted the funeral at New Hope Ministries church in Lakewood. Mourners were forced to go across the street to a funeral home to continue the service.
The funeral cancellation prompted outrage; protesters flocked to the church yesterday carrying signs with slogans including “Bury the dead,” “Dignity in death” and “Love trumps all.”
Collier died from a shooting incident which police say may have been suicide.
Collier’s partner Christina Higley wrote on Facebook, "Vanessa's services were NOT refused because she is a 'lesbian'. Her services were refused because we would not let New Hope Ministries 'edit' her life which was a slideshow of our family photos including our engagement and family photos of her and I with our two children! It never crossed my mind that it would be an issue considering we paid to use their facility ONLY. We brought in our own Pastor to facilitate. I would completely understand if we were asking to be married there and it be a conflict of interest.
"I'm not asking anyone to go against their own beliefs and religion. I only hoped we could find a house of God to celebrate my beautiful wife and her life (HER WHOLE LIFE) and lay her to rest in God's arms ... I lost my best friend, the love of my life and our children lost their mother!
"How would Ray Chavez explain to them why our family photos were inappropriate for her services to be conducted in that house of God?
"PLEASE I AM BEGGING ANYONE TO HELP EXPLAIN TO OUR CHILDREN WHY OUR LIFE TOGETHER AS A FAMILY IS ANY LESS THAN ANYONE ELSES AND INAPPROPRIATE IN A HOUSE OF GOD???"
Publication date: January 14, 2015