Dying Man’s Funeral Refused By Church Because His Son Is Gay

L-R Brandon Smitty, Jessie Goodman (image via WTVC)

For years now, the LGBTQ community has endured reports of being denied services – like trying to buy a wedding cake or wedding invitations, or enrolling children of same-sex parents at private schools – all because of ‘deeply held religious beliefs.’

But a church in Tennessee is now denying a dying man’s request to host his funeral because his son is gay.

Jessie Goodman’s father is 71-years-old, very ill and dying.

His father has two requests after he is gone: that Jessie sing “The Anchor Holds” at the funeral, and that the services be held at Lee’s Chapel Baptist Church in Sweetwater, Tennessee. It’s the church the father first attende

But when Jessie, who is engaged to Brandon Smitty, approached the church about the service, Pastor Jay Scruggs and several members of the church told him neither he nor his fiancé could be involved in the funeral because they are gay.

Goodman told local ABC affiliate WTVC News 9, “As long as I was going to take part in any way, he (Goodman’s father) could not have his service there.”

Goodman was reportedly told the funeral could be held at the church if Jessie would attend alone, and not be a part of the service at all.

And if his fiancé showed up, he would be asked to leave.

News 9 reached out to Scruggs, but the pastor refused to comment saying he would speak to the press “after Jessie’s father is in the grave.”

“They’re punishing my dad for a lifestyle choice I’ve made,” said Goodman. “It’s not me up there in a casket. It’s him.”

The father, whose name is being withheld at the family’s request, has been told that his services will not be held at his own church.

“He did know that his funeral wouldn’t happen there,” said Goodman. “And he had a very hurt look on his face when we told him that.”

The family has since found a different funeral venue in the area to host the services.

And Goodman will sing “The Anchor Holds” at his father’s funeral.

Cameras Catch Ivanka Trump Texting During McCain Funeral

And my last post on the funeral of Sen. John McCain today.

Just one small moment that illustrates the Trump family’s woeful lack of honest compassion or decency.

During Sen. Joe Lieberman’s eulogy, cameras caught First Daughter Ivanka Trump texting on her phone.

At a funeral.

I really don’t need to add anything else, do I?

Obama On McCain: We Never Doubted ‘We Were On The Same Team’

President Barack Obama, speaking thoughtfully and with grace, honored his former presidential opponent, Sen. John McCain today, reminding a worldwide audience of McCain’s sense of duty, honor, and yes, humor.

Just a few highlights as the we were all reminded of two of America’s higher angels: dignity and respect.

Obama offered a long view on how class versus crass handles differences in politics. After referencing the “petty” and the “mean,” he closed the thought with a quote from For Whom The Bell Tolls:

“So much of our politics can seem small and mean and petty. Trafficking in bombast and insult, phony controversies and manufactured outrage. It’s a politics that pretends to be brave and tough, but is instead born of fear.

“John called on us to be bigger than that, to be better than that.

“Today is only one day in all the days that will ever be, but what will happen in all the other days will depend on what you do today. What better way to honor John McCain than follow his example.”

Even President George W. Bush couldn’t resist the temptation to draw comparisons between the current occupant of the White House and McCain: “John detested the abuse of power. He could not abide bigots and swaggering despots.”

Donald Trump Will Not Attend Funeral Of Former First Lady Barbara Bush

The White House has announced Donald Trump will not attend the funeral of former First Lady Barbara Bush citing a desire to “avoid disruptions” in regard to the president’s security detail and “out of respect for the Bush Family and friends.”

First Lady Melania Trump will attend the memorial service for Barbara Bush this Saturday representing the First Family.

Reps for former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have indicated they will attend the memorial service as well as former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama.

Barbara Bush, wife of George H.W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States, passed away on Tuesday at the age of 92.

You’ll recall when Obama didn’t attend the funeral of former First Lady Nancy Reagan, right-wing pundits couldn’t wait to criticize.

News Round-Up: November 28, 2016

Some news stories you may have missed:

• Super stats guy Nate Silver snaps Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway back to reality after she claimed the Trumpster won in a “landslide.”

• An Ohio State University student is dead after driving a car into a group of pedestrians and then stabbing several people today. Eleven people were hospitalized as a result of the student’s attack.

• Neither President Obama nor Vice President Biden will be attending the funeral of deceased Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.

• A representative for the Texas Electoral College is resigning rather than cast his vote for Donald Trump on December 19.

• A gay man in Colorado was verbally assaulted (“the faggot that voted for Hillary”) in front of his 4 year old son by an employee of Floor and Decor when he tried to return defective floor tiles.

• Donald Trump’s pick for National Security Adviser, KT McFarland outed her gay brother to their parents as he was dying of AIDS.

• Tony Award winner Sutton Foster delivers moving “Unbreakable” on the Netflix revived Gilmore Girls.

Viral Video: New Zealand Students Perform Haka Dance At Teacher’s Funeral

Ok, this is awesome. Imminently watchable. The passion these students have is undeniable.

Mashable has the details:

At least 1,700 boys at Palmerston North Boys’ High School on New Zealand’s North Island participated in the epic performance for their physical education and maths teacher, Dawson Tamatea.

Tamatea, 55, died in his sleep on July 20, according to TVNZ. He had been a teacher at the school for almost 30 years.

“This was a very emotional and powerful performance,” the school wrote on its YouTube channel. “We are extremely proud of our boys’ performance and we know that Mr Tamatea would be too.”

The haka has become renowned internationally due to its prominence in rugby union football, where it is performed as a war cry before matches played by New Zealand’s teams.

(h/t JMG)

President Obama Sings “Amazing Grace” At Funeral Of Rev. Clementa Pinckney

I have clearly never fully comprehended the true meaning of the phrase “awe-struck” until today.

First, marriage equality across the United States.

Then, this unprecedented moment at the funeral of Rev. Clementa Pinckney as President Obama broke into “Amazing Grace.”

Great day to be an American.

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President Obama at the Funeral of Rev. Clementa PinckneyPresident Obama sings Amazing Grace as Confederate flags fall across the country.Posted by AlterNet on Friday, June 26, 2015

President Obama Delivers Moving Eulogy At Funeral Of Beau Biden

President Obama hugs Vice-President Joe Biden after eulogizing Biden’s son, Beau

President Barack Obama eulogized Beau Biden Saturday as a good man of character “who loved deeply and was loved in return,” hailing the compassion and public service of his family in a moving funeral oration to grief-stricken Vice President Joe Biden’s son.

Obama said that the former Delaware Attorney General and Iraq War veteran, who died a week ago from brain cancer at 46, was a fine man who was full of integrity and refused to trade on his family name. He did his duty to his country and “did not have a mean bone in his body,” Obama said.

“Beau Biden brought to his work a mighty hearty, he brought to his family a mighty heart,” Obama said in his eulogy, during which he appeared on the verge of being overcome several times.

“Beau Biden was an original. He was a good man, a man of character, a man who loved deeply and was loved in return.” Obama said.

When he had concluded his eulogy, Obama stepped down from the pulpit of the St. Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church in Wilmington, Delaware, and folded Biden in his arms, placing a kiss on his vice president’s cheek.

(from CNN)

Denver Pastor Brings Funeral To Halt Upon Learning Deceased Was Lesbian

Vanessa Collier

Fifteen minutes into the funeral for Vanessa Collier, Pastor Ray Chavez stopped the memorial after realizing the deceased mother of two had been lesbian. Chavez refused to continue the service until images of Collier with her wife were removed from display.

From ThinkProgress:

According to the Denver Post, Chavez said he would only continue the service if images of Collier and her wife, positioned around the casket, were removed. The family, outraged, refused, and “picked up programs, flowers and eventually the dead woman’s casket itself” before relocating at a mortuary across the street. The scores of attendees, many of them reportedly lesbians themselves, followed suit, abandoning the church.

“It was humiliating,” Victoria Quintana, Collier’s friend, told the Denver Post. “It was devastating.”

Hurt and frustrated, dozens of friends and supporters of Collier reconvened in front of New Hope Ministries on Tuesday to protest the pastor’s decision. Holding images of the deceased, who police say is thought to have committed suicide, the demonstrators shouted chants of “Give us an apology!” and “Shame on Pastor Ray!”

According to the group’s Facebook page, the protestors also noted that Chavez, who reportedly referred to Collier’s sexuality as an “alternative lifestyle,” has yet to refund the family the cost of the funeral.