Target: Pastor Ray Chavez
Goal: Apologize for reportedly cancelling a woman’s funeral after finding out she was a lesbian.
A pastor reportedly cancelled woman’s funeral when he realized she was a lesbian. Pastor Ray Chavez also demanded that all pictures of Vanessa Collier, the deceased, with her wife be removed. Her family refused to comply and had to relocate the service. This disrespectful behavior and complete lack of compassion should never be tolerated, especially not when coming from a spiritual leader. Please demand that the pastor apologize to the Collier’s family and friends for the anguish he caused them on an extremely difficult occasion.
Vanessa Collier was a 33-year-old mother of two and wife of Christina Higley. Her funeral was to place in New Hope Ministries in Lakewood, Colorado, before it was forced to move to a mortuary across the street. Losing a loved one is never easy, but this unacceptable behavior makes it even more difficult. To have your loved one disrespected at her own funeral and to face criticism and discrimination on one of the hardest days of your life is simply cruel and no one should have to go through that.
Dozens of Collier’s friends, family, and supporters protested in front of New Hope Ministries and demanded that the pastor give an official apology. They have also said that Chavez did not yet refund them for the cost of the funeral. Please join us in supporting their demand and let Pasor Chavez know that his actions were completely disrespectful and unacceptable.
Dear Pastor Chavez,
I am writing to you about your reported refusal to perform a funeral service upon finding out that Vanessa Collier was married to a woman. Funerals are a time when you need to get past your own beliefs and respect the deceased and their family. There is no excuse for cancelling a funeral and causing so much unnecessary anguish and distress to the deceased’s family. I would expect a clergyman to have enough sensitivity and compassion to know this and to be able to focus on the family’s loss and pain instead of on your own ideology. I demand that you apologize to Collier’s family and friends immediately for the unnecessary pain you put them through in a time of mourning.
Vanessa Collier had two children, a loving wife, and hundreds of family members and friends who were mourning her premature death. Instead of being compassionate towards these people you only exacerbated their pain. As you probably know, her family and friends have been protesting this event and demanding that you apologize for your actions. I ask that you comply with this demand immediately and issue an official apology. It will not fix what you did, but it will at least allow Collier’s family and friends to move forward with the respect they deserve.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: floristluton via pixabay