Soulforce Responds to Cancellation of Gay Navy Vet’s Memorial

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SOULFORCE PRESS RELEASE: August 13, 2007
For Immediate Release
Contact: Paige Schilt, Director of Public Relations and Media
Cell: 512-659-1771
paige@soulforce.org
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(Arlington, TX) –Last week High Point Church, a nondenominational megachurch, canceled a memorial service for Navy veteran Cecil Howard Sinclair because the deceased was gay. According to the Dallas Morning News, High Point’s pastor defended the decision to cancel on Sinclair’s grieving family a mere 24 hours in advance, saying that the church "cannot glorify homosexuality as a lifestyle."

Statement from Jeff Lutes, Soulforce Executive Director

"Many of America’s megachurches and emerging evangelical leaders have become more politically sophisticated and have toned down the antigay rhetoric that emanates from the pulpit. But this shameful action by High Point Church demonstrates that their toxic theology is often no different than that espoused by Dobson, Robertson, and the late Jerry Falwell.

I hope this incident will inspire some much-needed national reflection about the dangers of religion-based bigotry. We should stop giving churches a pass when they preach God’s unconditional love and then ask gay and lesbian members to suppress an integral part of themselves in order to be worthy of that love."

Statement from Chaplain (Col.) Paul Dodd (Ret.), Soulforce volunteer

"Not long ago, the governor of Texas told gay veterans to go live elsewhere if they want to get married. Now, fundamentalist leaders are telling a grieving family that they must ‘go elsewhere’ if they want to remember and honor their son, a gay veteran. I call on the fair-minded people of Texas to cry out for justice and make it clear that love and compassion must always triumph over religion-based bigotry – every single time."


Soulforce is a national civil rights and social justice organization. Our vision is freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from religious and political oppression through the practice of relentless nonviolent resistance. For more information go to www.soulforce.org.

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