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Florida Pastor Sticks By Decision Canceling Man's Funeral Because He Was Gay: VIDEO

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The Tampa pastor who created a firestorm last week after it was revealed he had canceled a man's funeral after discovering the man was gay and married isn't backing away from his actions, saying that the 'trials' his church is facing in the public eye have "come to make us stronger."

Florida station WTSP went to New Hope Missionary Baptist Church service on Sunday to ask Rev. T.W. Jenkins about what happened. The station was initially not allowed into the building, but were permitted to enter at a later time. In the video, Jenkins can bee seen talking about his family's well-being and thanking his congregation for their prayers.

"My family is doing fine," he said to claps from the audience. "Church family please remain focused and prayerful ... and we will continue to stand on the word of God."

The Reverend and church's concern for the family of the gay man? Not so much..

Watch WTSP's reports, AFTER THE JUMP...(warning: autoplay)

Continue reading "Florida Pastor Sticks By Decision Canceling Man's Funeral Because He Was Gay: VIDEO" »


Florida Church That Cancelled Gay Man's Funeral Receives Swift Internet Backlash

Evans

On Friday, we reported on the small Tampa-area church that hastily cancelled funeral arrangements for Julion Evans last month after discovering he was gay and married to another man. The pastor of the church made the abrupt announcement to Evans' mother the day before the funeral, with the pastor saying it would have been "blasphemous" for a gay man's funeral to take place inside the church. 

Since news broke, the church, New Hope Missionary Baptist, has been forced to take town their website and contact information following a flood of negative comments and reviews.

Included in the set of 281 one-star reviews on Facebook:

  • Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 12.16.13 PMDisgraceful. Utterly disgraceful and unforgivable. There are no "Christians" attending or acting as Pastor at this church. To cancel a man's funeral, simply because you and your "flock" do not agree with or like Homosexuals is beyond evil. A persons life before they have died has no baring on their right to a funeral. Do you refuse to hold funeral services for murderers? Adultors? Unwed mothers? People who have pre-maritial sex? All of these are also "sins" in the Bible but you don't refuse to grant these people a funeral at your church. You are all hypocrites and you disgust me. 
  • Christian = Christ like; There is nothing Christ like about what this Church just did. I am appalled that this should occur in a place were the compassion of Christ should be seen most. Shame on this place!
  • True evil. So glad that I don't call myself a christian anymore, because churches like yours that are so exclusive and show none of God's love.

[via The New Civil Rights Movement]


Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi: Let the Supreme Court Settle Gay Marriage Issue

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, citing her desire to "preserve taxpayer and judicial resources," has asked state courts to stop considering same-sex marriage cases until the U.S. Supreme Court decides whether states have the right to ban gay marriage.

BondiThe Miami Herald reports:

“Neither this Court nor the Florida Supreme Court can decide this federal issue with finality,” Bondi wrote in a filing late Thursday to the state’s 3rd District Court of Appeal. “The United States Supreme Court, however, ‘has the final word on the United States Constitution.’”

Bondi told the appeals court she expects the U.S. Supreme Court will act soon on the gay marriage issue. She cited filings this week from the states of Utah and Oklahoma asking their gay-marriage cases be heard by the nation’s highest court.

Judges in four Florida counties have overturned the state's gay-marriage ban, but no licenses are being issued because Bondi has appealed each case. Lawyers for the gay couples challenging the state's ban, however, are demanding Florida courts take further action.  

“Justice need not be patient,” said Miami Beach attorney Elizabeth Schwartz, who co-represents the six couples and Equality Florida Institute in the Miami-Dade case. “In my law practice, I see the real-life damage done to same-couples each day because of the failure to allow us to marry or to recognize our out-of-state marriages. For Florida's attorney general to argue that they should continue to wait, asserting both that there is no real urgency and, somehow, the Florida Supreme Court is incapable of resolving the matter statewide is insulting to Floridians and to our judiciary.”


Tampa Church Abruptly Cancels Man's Funeral After Finding Out He's Gay and Has a Husband: VIDEO

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A Tampa-area family struggling with the loss of a loved one was forced to relocate funeral services for the deceased after the pastor at the church where the service was scheduled to be held found out the man was gay.

WFLA reports:

Julie Atwood was standing at her son's casket when the phone rang. The church where her son's funeral was scheduled to be held the next day decided to abruptly cancel the service, after the pastor learned the deceased was gay and his obituary listed a surviving "husband."

Atwood said she was told it would be "blasphemous" to hold the services at the church because her son, Julion Evans, 42, was gay.

"It was devastating," she said. "I did feel like he was being denied the dignity of death."

Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 10.04.42 AMEvans' husband, Kendall Capers [right], says the pair were partners for 17 years and married last year in Maryland. Evans died at home after a 4-year battle with a rare illness called Amyloidosis, which destroys organs in the body.

Capers said that because of the abrupt cancellation, some mourners were not notified of the late relocation and missed the funeral. 

"This is 2014, this is not the 60s or the 70s,” Capers said. “So at the end of the day I just want his wrong-doing to be exposed.”

Watch a WFLA report on the story, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Charlie Crist: Florida Governor and Attorney General Don't Have to Defend Gay Marriage Ban: VIDEO

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In an interview with the Miami Herald, Charlie Crist says Republican Governor Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi do not have to defend the state's ban on same-sex marriage in court and can make the choice to "make sure new and better things happen in Florida." 

Crist, who as Republican governor supported the ban when it was passed by Florida voters back in 2008, is now running as a pro-equality Democrat in this year's gubernatorial race. 

Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP...

[via Good As You]

Continue reading "Charlie Crist: Florida Governor and Attorney General Don't Have to Defend Gay Marriage Ban: VIDEO " »


Fourth Florida Judge Declares State's Gay Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

FloridaA judge in south Florida has become the fourth in recent week's to strike down the state's ban on gay marriage, in an inheritance case, Reuters reports:

Frank Bangor, who lived in Pennsylvania before his death in March, left his estate to the man that he married in Delaware. This included property in south Florida's Palm Beach County.

In finding the same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional, Circuit Court Judge Diana Lewis limited her ruling to the specific circumstances involved in the probate case.

The ruling did not include an order for Palm Beach County officials to begin issuing marriage licenses, according to Equality Florida, a gay rights advocacy organization.


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