Church refused to show images of a gay woman kissing her life partner at her own funeral. During a memorial service held for a recently deceased woman, the ceremony church officials prohibited the family to show pictures of the lesbian deceased woman, kissing her same sex partner.
The funeral taking place at New Hope Ministries in Lakewood, was immediately canceled and moved to a funeral home, after the Denver area church officials had no intention of allowing the family to show images of the deceased gay woman and her partner kissing, during the ceremony. Minister Gary Rolando, a minister who had been contacted by the deceased woman’s family to officiate the funeral service, said that the relatives of Vanessa Collier didn’t want to remove the images from the memorial video, which portrayed the gay couple kissing.
The churches demand put an end to the ceremony. The family and funeral attendants were asked to leave the church. A number of around 200 people were forced to leave as the ceremony wouldn’t take place anymore. Jose Silva, a friend of Vanessa Collier said that the churches demand was demeaning for Vanessa’s family and her memory, as they were asked to edit the videos that represented her life.
The casket of the deceased woman was moved to a close by funeral home where the memorial took place together with the entire video and images. The happening enraged the friends and family of Vanessa Collier, and they started a protest in front of the New Hope Ministries church, on Tuesday with banners saying that people will not find hope at this church but hypocrisy.
The church refunded the family the $400 they had paid for the service, on Monday. All the comments concerning the matter where referred to minister Gary Rolando.
He explained that the church has a liberal policy and accepts people with different sexual orientations, but images or videos of same sex couples kissing, or hugging cannot be shown. He remained in neutral, as he agreed with both parts and said that he understood Vanessa’s family point of view.
New Hope Ministries was founded in 1981 and on its website it is written a presentation of its beliefs saying that that is a place where those suffering from drugs, alcohol, violence and gangs could find hope.
Image Source: The Washington Post