A Texas church withdrew an offer to host a funeral once they found out the deceased was gay.
Cecil Sinclair died last Monday, aged 46, and Arlington’s High Point Church cancelled its invitation to host the service on Wednesday. The service was planned for Thursday.
An arrangement had been made for the church to provide a memorial service, photo presentation and feed guests.
However, the church decided to retract its offer when officials saw the photos submitted for the photo presentation.
“Some of those photos had very strong homosexual images of kissing and hugging. My ministry associates were taken aback,” Rev Gary Simons, head of the church, told Dallasnews.com.
According to Khou.com, the family insists the CD it gave the church did not contain such images.
Kathleen Wright, sister of Cecil, told The Associated Press:
“It’s a slap in the face. It’s like, ‘Oh, we’re sorry he died, but he’s gay so we can’t help you.’”
Mr Simons defended the church’s decision at Sunday’s Mass. He is quoted by Dallasnews.com as saying:
“This decision was not based on hate, or discrimination, but upon principle and policy, We cannot glorify homosexuality as a lifestyle.
“The Bible does say it’s wrong, You wouldn’t go to someone’s
house who doesn’t smoke and smoke there.”
The church had initially offered to host a service because Mr Sinclair’s brother is a janitor for the church.
A minister was sent to the family’s home immediately after his death and the church had been praying for him for six years.
Mr Simons told The Associated Press that the church wouldn’t have offered to host the service if it had known Mr Sinclair’s sexual orientation.
“Had we known it on the day they first spoke about it – yes, we would have declined then. It’s not that we didn’t love the family.”
Cecil Sinclair, a navy veteran, died of an infection while waiting for a heart transplant.
His funeral service was eventually held at a Arlington funeral home.