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RI Gay Rights Group to Protest ‘Hate’ Church

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Queer Action of Rhode Island is planning to hold a counter protest this weekend of a group it describes as “America’s biggest hate-mongering group,” the Westboro Baptist Church, which is based in Topeka, Kansas.

The church—best known for its founder and pastor, Fred Phelps, and his provocatively named Web site, GodHatesFags.com—makes a point of traveling around the country to protest homosexuality, Judaism, and Islam.

On December 3 and 4, Westboro Baptist Church members will be in Massachusetts to hold a protest a Framingham High School production of the Laramie Project, a play about Matthew Shepard, a Wyoming University student who was murdered in 1998 because of his sexual orientation.

On its Web site, the church announces its picket in no uncertain terms:

“WBC will picket the Laramie Project at Framingham High School to remind everyone that God killed Matthew Shepard and he has been burning in Hell for 12 years now - with eternity left to go. Lest ye repent, ye shall likewise perish!”

On December 4, Queer Action of Rhode Island gets to face off with Westboro picketers, bringing “a message of love to outshine their messages of hate,” as the Rhode Island group puts it.

“You've read about them in the papers, watched them on TV,” Queer Action said in a message to its members accounting the counter protest. “Well now is your chance to finally meet America's biggest hate-mongering group, the Westboro Baptist Church! They're anti-gay, anti-America, anti-abortion and probably anything else you think of that promotes human dignity and liberty...but one thing they are, above all, is anti-tolerance.”

So far, more than one hundred members of Queer Action have signed up for the counter protest.

Efforts to reach the Westboro Baptist Church yesterday were unsuccessful.

For more information on the counter protest, visit the Queer Action Facebook page on the event.


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