Church Cancels Woman’s Funeral Because She Was Lesbian

Lesbian Couple

A church in the United States cancelled a woman’s funeral only moments before the ceremony was to take place after her family declined to take away photographs of the deceased kissing her wife.

Family and friends of Vanessa Collier were left feeling distressed after a pastor from New Hope Ministries told mourners only 15 minutes before the commencement of the funeral  that the service was being called off because of technical difficulties.


Jose Silva, a family friend, later wrote on his Facebook page, “As a Christian I am ashamed of what I witnessed today and disgusted in a pastor I once had respect for.”

The funeral, which was supposed to take place in Denver on January 10, was canceled even before it commenced, after the pastor in question asked the mourners to move out.

WECT, weather

At her funeral, Collier’s family wanted to present a slideshow featuring photographs of her life and one of the images was that of Collier kissing her wife Christina alongside another couple with their two children. New Hope Ministries was supposed to review the slideshow before it was played at the funeral service.

According to Gary Rolando, a chaplain from Newcome Funeral Home, who stepped in to conduct the service at the last moment, New Hope Ministries had failed to review the slideshow until the last minute, saying the first copy of the slideshow had been misplaced. While reviewing the slideshow last minute, they realized it contained elements of “overt, open homosexuality” and decided against it unless of course those elements were done away with. Collier’s family refused to comply with that instruction.


Writing on her Facebook page, a day after the incident, Christina thanked those who showed support for her and her late wife.

“I'm not asking anyone to go against their own beliefs and religion. I only hoped we could find a house of God to celebrate my beautiful wife and her life (HER WHOLE LIFE) and lay her to rest in God's arms. Is it too much to ask for? I lost my best friend, the love of my life and our children lost their mother,” she wrote.

The family had paid $400 for Collier’s funeral and even though that money was refunded immediately, they took to the streets outside New Hope Ministries to protest against the last minute cancellation of the service. The church was not available for comments.

Photo Credits: Daily Mail & Independent UK

If you like our posts, subscribe to the Atheist Republic newsletter to get exclusive content delivered weekly to your inbox. Also, get the book "Why There is No God" for free.

Click Here to Subscribe

Donating = Loving

Heart Icon

Bringing you atheist articles and building active godless communities takes hundreds of hours and resources each month. If you find any joy or stimulation at Atheist Republic, please consider becoming a Supporting Member with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good dinner.

Or make a one-time donation in any amount.