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Lesbian’s funeral cancelled over pictures of her wife

Naith Payton January 14, 2015

The funeral of a lesbian woman was cancelled minutes before it was due to start when the pastor objected to showing pictures of her kissing her wife.

Vanessa Collier’s funeral was due to be held at New Hope Ministries in Lakewood, Colorado and was attended by hundreds of her family and friends. But fifteen minutes before it was due to start, the pastor informed them it could not go ahead due to the inappropriate content in the video to be shown during the service.

Pastor Ray Chavez objected to the photo of Ms Collier kissing her wife, Christina Higley, as well as photo of her proposing. They were told it could only go ahead if the photos were edited out.

Instead, her family decided to move to the funeral home across the street, which only had a capacity of 60 people. Her casket was closed and driven across in the hearse.

Her friend, Joe Silva, told ABC News: “Sitting there, watching your friend being packed up and shuttled out of a church was just horrific.” He organised a protest attended by 70 people outside the funeral home.

Ms Collier was 33 when she died, and left behind her wife and two children. Her family had informed the New Hope Ministeries of her sexuality, and had the video approved by them two days before the service.

Her cousin, Jessica Maestras who helped organise the funeral, said of it being moved: “It was disgusting. 180 people had to squeeze into a room that held about 60 people.

“The only other thing they asked me was to have these videos ready two days prior so they could review them. I provided the video, and got the okay from the funeral home that we would be able to show it.”

In November, a trans woman was dressed as a man for her open casket funeral.

More: family, funeral, lesbian, marriage, US

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