Pastor Stands By Decision to Cancel Gay Man’s Funeral

Expanding the LGBTQ Conversation
Aug. 11 2014 4:17 PM

Pastor Stands By Decision to Cancel Gay Man’s Funeral


Last week, Pastor T.W. Jenkins of Tampa, Florida, canceled Julion Evans’ funeral at the last minute after he discovered that Evans was gay and married. Jenkins claimed that holding a church funeral for a gay man would be “blasphemous” and insisted, “I am a man of God, and I have to stand up for my principles.”

The incident sparked a nationwide outcry—but it seems Jenkins is sticking to his decision. A local news station sat in on part of Jenkins’ Sunday sermon yesterday and found the pastor in a defiant mood. “Our trials make us strong,” he told his congregation. Then, referring to his “trials” of the previous days, Jenkins told the audience that “my family is doing fine. … Please remain focused and prayerful … and we will continue to stand on the word of God.” The audience applauded.


Meanwhile, Evans’ widower—who took care of Evans for four years while he suffered from a rare, painful disease—is still struggling to recover. “I know he’s not here,” he told an interviewer through tears, “but I haven’t had a chance to grieve because of this. He was my best friend, and he’s not here anymore.

You can watch the entire depressing report below.

Mark Joseph Stern is a writer for Slate. He covers science, the law, and LGBTQ issues.


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