Florida Baptist Church cancels funeral after learning the deceased was gay

Florida Baptist Church cancels funeral after learning the deceased was gay

Last week, 42 year old Julion Evans was given six months to live. Two days later he was dead.

When his family arranged to have his funeral at the church he had grown up at, New Hope Missionary Baptist in Tampa, the church agreed to host the service. But when members of the congregation found out through an obituary that Evans was gay and married, the church abruptly cancelled the service.

WFLA reports:

Julie Atwood was standing at her son’s casket when the phone rang. The church where her son’s funeral was scheduled to be held the next day decided to abruptly cancel the service, after the pastor learned the deceased was gay and his obituary listed a surviving “husband.”

Atwood said she was told it would be “blasphemous” to hold the services at the church because her son, Julion Evans, 42, was gay.

“It was devastating,” she said. “I did feel like he was being denied the dignity of death.”

Evans’ husband, Kendall Capers, says the pair were partners for 17 years and married last year in Maryland. Evans died at home after a 4-year battle with a rare illness called Amyloidosis, which destroys organs in the body.

Capers said that because of the abrupt cancellation, some mourners were not notified of the late relocation and missed the funeral.