Glenn Beck announced that to follow up his rally in Jerusalem, he will be appearing at High Point Church in Arlington, Texas, on Sunday. That church is notable for a particularly horrific example of anti-gay bigotry: its decision to cancel a memorial service for a Gulf War veteran because the deceased man was gay.
In 2007, the church volunteered to host a memorial service for Cecil Sinclair, a Navy veteran who served in the Gulf War. However, the day before the memorial service was to be held, the church withdrew its invitation. The Associated Press reported at the time that family members said that the church knew Sinclair was gay, but canceled the service "after his obituary listed his life partner as one of his survivors."
According to the AP, High Point pastor Rev. Gary Simons said that "no one knew Sinclair, who was not a church member, was gay until the day before the Thursday service, when staff members putting together his video tribute saw pictures of men 'engaging in clear affection, kissing and embracing.' " The AP continued:
Simons said the church believes homosexuality is a sin, and it would have appeared to endorse that lifestyle if the service had been held there.
"We did decline to host the service - not based on hatred, not based on discrimination, but based on principle," Simons told The Associated Press. "Had we known it on the day they first spoke about it - yes, we would have declined then. It's not that we didn't love the family."
Simons said the decision had nothing to do with the obituary. He said the church offered to pay for another site for the service, made the video and provided food for more than 100 relatives and friends.
"Even though we could not condone that lifestyle, we went above and beyond for the family through many acts of love and kindness," Simons said.
[Simons' sister Kathleen] Wright called the church's claim about the pictures "a bold-faced lie." She said she provided numerous family pictures of Sinclair, including some with his partner, but said none showed men kissing or hugging.
Beck has a pattern of associating with virulently anti-gay figures.
Beck's Jerusalem rally featured a number of religious figures who espouse anti-gay bigotry. Last year, Beck created the "Black Robe Regiment," which also included a large number of people who are fervently anti-gay.
And appearing with Beck at High Point Church will be David Barton, a man Beck has called "the most important man in America today." Barton has opposed military service by gay men and lesbians while arguing that homosexuality "was long considered too morally abhorrent and reprehensible to openly discuss," wondered why we don't "regulate homosexuality" like trans fats, and blamed bullying of gays in schools not on the bullies but, rather, on "people from outside the schools coming in and saying 'Oh, you got a bullying problem and we need to teach a course for you.' "