A man from Florida had his funeral cancelled just 24 hours before it was due to take place after the church discovered that he was gay.
Julion Evans of Tampa, died in July after a four-year battle with Amyloidosis, a rare disease that attacks the internal organs and causes them to shut down.
However, after his family organised a funeral for Evans at their local church, they were told it had been cancelled – just one night before it was set to take place.
According to a report on WFLA, the church had initially accepted the booking after hearing about Evans' death.
Yet this was quickly reversed when the pastor of the church, TW Jenkins, found out about Evans' sexuality from reading his obituary in the local paper.
The family were then contacted just 12 hours before the proposed funeral, to be told that the church could no longer hold the funeral because it would be “blasphemous” to do so.
Evans’ mother, Julie Attwood, was distraught when she heard the news.
She told WFLA: “It was devastating. I did feel like he was being denied the dignity of death.”
With only a day to find a new location, the family were unable to contact all those scheduled to attend and this led to many mourners arriving at the wrong venue and missing the service.
Evans’ husband Kendall Capers, was furious about the incident and said that the church’s decision to call just one night before was “disrespectful”.
He said: “This is 2014, this is not the 60s or the 70s
“I just want his [Jenkins] wrong-doing to be exposed.”
Pastor Jenkins defended the church’s decision, saying that his church preached against gay marriage.
"Based on our preaching of the scripture, we would have been in error to allow the service in our church,“ Jenkins said. ”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."
Evans and Capers were partners for 17 years after meeting in their 20s.
When they learned about Evans’ illness they decided to get married, with the ceremony taking place in Maryland last year.
Capers said that the pair did not hide their sexuality and most people in the area knew that they were married.Reuse content