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Fla. church cancels gay man's funeral

Published On: Aug 08 2014 09:50:42 AM CDT
Updated On: Aug 08 2014 10:31:04 AM CDT
Church refuses gay man funeral

WFLA

A church in Florida canceled a funeral with less than 24 hours notice after the pastor learned the dead man was gay.

The news left Julion Evans' family scrambling to make new arrangements as they grieved.

Evans' mother was too upset to speak on camera to Tampa TV station WFLA. She was standing beside her son's casket when the New Hope Missionary Church called, telling her it would be "blasphemous" to hold her son's funeral there.

Evans, 42, died late last month of amyloidosis.

His family attends church at New Hope, and wanted the funeral held there.

The church immediately said yes, but revoked the invitation after a newspaper obituary listed Kendall Capers as the husband.

Pastor T.W. Jenkins told WFLA by phone that the church doesn't support gay marriage.

"I try not to condemn anyone's lifestyle, but I am a man of God and have to stand upon my principles," he said.

The incident saddened Capers and left him questioning religion.

"Regardless of our background, our sexual orientation, how can you wait that long and put someone in a bind when they're going through a loss?" he said.

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