A church in the US has refused to host a funeral service for a man because he was gay.

High Point Church, a nondenominational congregation in Arlington, Texas, reneged on its original decision to host a funeral service for Cecil Sinclair, a U.S. naval veteran, upon learning that he was openly gay and that his family loved him just as he was.

Sinclair, 46, a native of Fort Worth who served in Desert Storm, died on Monday, August 6, from complications following heart surgery.

The pastor of High Point Church said, “The church opposes homosexuality, and there was no way a service could be held that appeared to endorse it.” Simons’ confirmation that he would stand by the decision at a Sunday service led to wide applause by the congregation.

Human Rights Campaign Religion and Faith Director Harry Knox expressed outrage at the decision, calling it “callous and mean-spirited.”

“Reverend Simons’ statement that the decision is a matter of policy and not hatred and discrimination is a lie in politically correct clothing. It is not worthy of a man of the cloth,” said Knox.

An alternative service was held by the family at a funeral home near the church.

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