A Tennessee Baptist minister is allegedly refusing to hold a service for a dying member of his own flock because he has a gay son.
Jesse Goodman's 71-year-old dad is on his death bed, and Jesse must make funeral arrangements but a request from his father for his service to be held at Lee’s Chapel Baptist Church has been denied by its pastor, Jay Scruggs.
The church was an important part of Goodman's father's life as he has been attending services there since childhood.
Pastor Scruggs said no because Jesse is gay and per his father's request wants to sing the hymn "The Anchor Holds" during the service.
"They’re punishing my dad for a lifestyle choice I’ve made. It’s not me up there in a casket. It’s him," Jessie told WTVC. He continues to say that Scruggs personally told him as long as Jesse is involved the service cannot be held at the church and Jesse's fiance is not welcome either.
All of this comes just days before Jesse anticipates his father, who is also a pastor, will pass away.
"He had a very hurt look on his face when we told him that," Jesse said after he told his dad.
The pastor has refused to make a comment until after the elder Mr. Goodman has passed.
Jesse made a statement to Gay Star News saying that it broke his heart hearing the church had been vandalized on Wednesday.
"Hate is hate in any form and no battle can be won with hate," said Jesse. "We were also told that the pastor apologized to the church because he “misunderstood” my part in the funeral. That makes no sense since it is my father passing," he said. "We have made other funeral arrangements and as of now my father is still holding on but it can be any time."
"My point is not to hurt the church, not to push homosexuality in their face, but for them to understand the wrongdoing and the mistakes of their decisions."