- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Protesters held a “Dignity in Death” rally Saturday outside a Denver church after the minister reportedly decided to cancel a lesbian’s funeral well after the service was supposed to start.

“Her casket was open, flowers laid out and hundreds of people sitting in the pews,” friends of Vanessa Collier said in a Facebook post. “He collected money for the funeral and has yet to return it.”

Vanessa Collier, 33, was killed last month when her gun went off while she was cleaning it, a local NBC affiliate reported. She leaves behind her wife and children.

About four dozen family members and friends carried signs and chanted outside the New Hope Ministries in Lakewood Saturday, The Denver Post reported.

Friends and family said they had to move the memorial service across the street to a funeral home after the church’s pastor took issue with a photo of Collier kissing her wife.

“You will not find Jesus at New Hope but you will find hypocrisy,” one sign read.

“Indignity in death,” read another.

“Give us an apology!” protesters chanted.

“A church turning away a funeral. Who has ever heard of anything like that happening?” Jeanette Arguello, a family friend, told The Post.

The church’s pastor, Ray Chavez, hung up on a Denver Post reporter when asked for comment.

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