Well, their numbers didn't reach a million, but approximately 400 people gathered Sunday in Topeka's Gage Park, near Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church for the 'Million Fag March' I posted about in February. The march was a symbolic demonstration against the WBC, who have for years targeted public gatherings, and more recently, military funerals, with their "God Hates Fags" message.
KSN reports: "People of all ages, races, and sexual orientation were present. The group of more than four hundred people marched throughout Gage Park, but were not allowed to cross any streets without a parade permit. The organizer of the march, Chris Love says he wants to show the Westboro Baptist Church there is an opposing voice equally as powerful. Other marchers feel the same. 'We don't agree with him talking about hatred and how God hates this god hates that,' marcher Angi Boetta said. 'We're just here to show him who we are and we're not going away no matter what you say or do.'...'All the haters and stuff they need to know that its not all about that, its about positivity and we're trying to create a positive influence towards gay people,' marcher Joshua Burch said. The Westboro Baptist Church is known for picketing the funerals of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq, and says their deaths are God's way of disapproving of homosexuality in America."
In February, Love told Towleroad: "In reality, we know nothing is going to change the Phelps or the Westboro Church. We know they'll continue doing what they are doing. In fact, they'll probably love any press we get for them. The point here is that up until now, there hasn't been a highly-publicized event in which someone made an active protest against the WBC (in other words, where the protest wasn't simply a defensive reaction at the site of a WBC protest... mainly funerals). At most, we're hoping that the WBC hears the message and realizes that there is an opposing voice that is equally as powerful as their own (or at least, the powerful as they perceive it to be). At the least, we hope to hold an event that will bring both homesexual and heterosexual people together for a united cause for one day. And in Kansas, no less."
Westboro Baptist responded to the march on Saturday on its blog: "This little event is a new milestone for the fags and their enablers of this generation. They must do this - heretofore, they have hidden in the dens and rocks and scampered out under cover of darkness to work their mischief - vandalism, theft, etc. They have even had a small protest here and there - just a couple. They NEED to do this - they MUST get their resolve stiffened and they MUST encourage this generation to see that this is a good path for them to take - it will certainly result in making the Word of God disappear from off the land and that means - MAKE US SHUT UP. So - hold onto your hat and stay tuned! We will shortly see the face of this event and what the Lord will do in response! The Lord is coming and america is DOOMED!! Things are getting into place and the very earth is preparing for that awesome and fiery event!! The dummies call it global warming!"
View local news coverage, AFTER THE JUMP...
Million Fag March [official site]
CJVideo: Million Fag March – VIDEO [topeka capital-journal]
March For Love Targets Westboro Baptist Church [myfoxkc]
Hundreds protest Fred Phelps and his church [ksn]
Marching in Protest [27 news]
Hundreds protest peacefully against Westboro Baptist Church [ktka]
Clips via Good As You.
‘Million Fag March’ to Target Westboro Baptist Church [tr]