Colorado Church Objects to Lesbian’s Funeral

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New Hope Ministries in Lakewood, Colorado is in the center of controversy for canceling a woman’s funeral services just 15 minutes after it was supposed to start, because the family wanted to post a picture of their deceased daughter and her girlfriend.


The family of Vanessa Collier, 33, who accidentally shot herself while cleaning her gun on Dec. 30,  wanted to display a picture of her proposing to her wife. After reviewing the pictures the day of the services, the Church opposed continuing with the funeral unless the family edited out the photo. When the family refused, after an hour long open casket viewing, the ministry stopped the remaining services. The family argues that the Church should have cancelled long before the service was supposed to take place considering pictures were given a week prior for reviewal.

According to the Denver Post,

“The memorial could not continue, Pastor Ray Chavez said, as long as pictures of Collier with the love of her life, the spouse she shared two children with, were to be displayed. Chavez said there could be no images of Collier with her wife, Christina. There could be no indication that Collier was gay.”

The Church’s decision ignited such an offense that a protest in the name of Vanessa Collier began on yesterday afternoon, where several supporters rallied outside of the church to protest “Dignity in Death”.The “Dignity in Death Rally” was organized by Jose Silva, a longtime friend of Vanessa. Protestors screamed for an apology and bashed the pastor for his immoral actions.

Signs at the protest read, “You will not find Jesus at New Hope but you will find hypocrisy,” and another saying “Indignity in death.”

New Hope’s congregants believe that the church was right in what they did with one woman saying,

“Pastor Ray stood for what he believed in and he stood for God’s truth. He’s not wrong, he’s right in what he did.”

Despite the last minute inconvenience, the family was able to finish the services across the street at the Newcomer Funeral Home.

I find this act of injustice despicable, vile, ignorant, and down right disrespectful on the highest level. As a Christian woman, I just can’t wrap my mind around how the pastor and his congregation can rationalize their vulgar behavior. What would Jesus do? It’s just sad to see how people have become so religious and forgot how to truly behave in the Holy Spirit.

What do you think about this hypocritical display of Christianity?!

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