Pastor Shuts Down Lesbian’s Funeral After Family Won’t Hide Photos of Her With Partner
A Colorado pastor stopped a funeral for a 33-year-old woman over photos of her kissing her female partner in a memorial video.
After hundreds of mourners flocked to the New Hope Ministries church to pay their last respects to Vanessa Collier, Pastor Ray Chavez stopped the proceedings over the content of the remembrance video.
Chavez told Collier’s family that the funeral can only proceed if the family removed any evidence that she was gay, including any photos of her with her partner Christina. He also insisted that the photos must be edited out of the memorial video.
After her family refused, Chavez canceled the funeral 15 minutes after it was supposed to start.
Collier’s family and friends gathered her casket, flowers, and programs and moved the funeral to another location.
After the incident, many of the funeral-goers told the Denver Post that Chavez’ refusal to allow the ceremony was downright cruel and insulting.
“It was humiliating,” Collier’s friend, Victoria Quintana, told the Post. “It was devastating.”
Another friend, Jeanette Arguello, told the Post, “A church turning away a funeral. Who has ever heard of anything like that?”
On Tuesday, protesters gathered outside of the church shouting “Shame on Pastor Ray!” and “Give us an apology!”