A Tampa church canceled a man’s funeral one day beforehand when parishioners complained that the man was gay, according to his widower.
Just last week, 42-year-old Julion Evans was given six months to live after battling a rare disease for four years. Two days later, he died.
Evans and Kendall Capers were married recently in Maryland. They had been together for 17 years.
After Evans' death, Capers arranged for a funeral at the church Evans grew up in: New Hope Missionary Baptist in Tampa.
Capers says the pastor made all the arrangements for the viewing and service.
But then a notice went out that mentioned Evans had a husband. That’s when Capers says the church canceled the services.
He says the church called Evans' mother to say they couldn't hold the funeral.
Capers was able to move the funeral to another church, but not before some family members showed up at the wrong church.
"If you agree to something, three and four days later, agree to it and stick to your plan, don't change at the last minute because your church constituents are calling you, or the church members are calling you to complain. Stand your ground," Capers said.
FOX 13 made several attempts to contact the church. We left messages at the church, and by phone, but did not immediately hear back.
Now, Capers says he says he is starting a foundation to research the particular kind of deficiency his late husband had. In the meantime, he wants to spread the word about what happened.
"I know there are other people that are probably going to be in the same shoes Julion and I were in. I feel like it's a wrong doing, and nobody should be in those shoes," he said.
WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
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