Funeral of Woman Abruptly Moved from Church Due to her Sexual Orientation
January 14, 2015 by Hayley Miller, Digital Media Associate
Last weekend, the funeral of a woman named Vanessa Collier was moved to a different location after a pastor refused to show a slideshow video featuring a photo of the deceased kissing her girlfriend. According to the Denver Post, the woman’s family moved the service to the funeral home across the street after guests had already arrived to the church in order to show the full video including photos of Vanessa kissing her partner, the co-parent of their two children. Victoria Quintana, Collier’s longtime friend, told the Denver Post the experience was “devastating” and “humiliating.” Jose Silva, another friend of Collier’s, told 9News he “thought it was a prank.”
Following the incident, dozens gathered in protests yesterday in Colorado to request a refund, as well as an apology, from New Hope Ministries.
People look to their faith as a source of guidance and inspiration, especially in times of hardship, and LGBT people and our family and friends are no different. No one should be forced to choose between who they are, whom they love and what they believe.
* Here is my take on this story… I feel sad for the “devastating” and “humiliating” treatment Vanessa Collier’s family and friends suffered. I can only imagine the scene that must have occurred moments before the funeral when the family realized they had to move the service. Fortunately, there was a funeral home just across the street.
* This shows us however a reality that isn’t often accepted by people who go to church, and I’m referring to progressive or liberal-minded and spiritual people. The church they attend doesn’t fit them!
* Progressive people need to find a church that really supports their viewpoint on the world and God. If they don’t, they are unconsciously perhaps but inherently supporting a church and a pastor and a ministry that goes against their important ideals and standards.
* The truth is I know a lot of people with progressive viewpoints on important matters who nonetheless spend their time and money at a church where the pastor and church are opposed to what they believe in and hold dear. This shouldn’t be!
* Find a progressive church that will stand with your commitments. Go to a church where the pastor holds your values. Support a church, perhaps a much smaller and more needy one, that really needs you.
* Don’t go to church where everyone else is going just because so many are. Listen, discern, and search for a better fit. Google “progressive churches” + your town to find it/them.
* We are out here, and we want you as much as you want us!
Florida becomes 36th state supporting marriage equality!
Today, Jan. 6, Florida becomes the 36th state where all people are free to marry the person they love.
In August, a U.S. district court judge struck down the same-sex marriage ban that Florida voters passed in 2008. The judge then issued a stay on his order, giving the state time to respond and appeal to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court decided on Dec. 19 not to extend the stay, which expired on Monday, Jan. 5, and paved the way for same-sex marriages to begin in Florida.
With Florida recognizing same-sex marriages, it marks a momentous 12 months for marriage equality, with judges striking down marriage bans in 20 states. At this time last year, there were just 16 states, including the District of Columbia, where same-sex marriage was recognized. More than 216 million Americans – approximately 70 percent of the country – now live in a state with marriage equality.
Congregational Church of Boca Raton UCC celebrates marriage equality! As pastor I will joyfully officiate at wedding ceremonies of committed, loving partners of all sexual identities. We believe God loves all equally, and are proud to stand with members of the lgbtq community as they express their love and give witness to their commitment publicly and before God.