News | Oregon | Stu Rasmussen | Transgender

Stu Rasmussen Supporters Run Westboro Baptist Out of Silverton


Last week, Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church announced its plans to travel to Silverton, Oregon to inflict its hate upon the town's residents and its newly-elected (and first in the nation) transgender mayor Stu Rasmussen. The action was reported in the L.A. Times:

Rasmussen2"The Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., known for its protests across the country targeting gays, plans to picket Monday in downtown Silverton 'to speak some words of truth to this 60-year-old pervert,' according to the church's website."

Turns out WBC got more than they bargained for:

"The counterprotesters outside City Hall in this Marion County town Monday significantly outnumbered the protesters who inspired them: three young women and a man from a Kansas church, here to register their disdain for the recent election of the nation's first openly transgender mayor, Stu Rasmussen. The quartet spread out along one side of North Water Street, feet planted on American flags spread on the sidewalk and hoisted large laminated posterboards on each arm. Double-sided and easy to read from passing vehicles and local television trucks positioned half a block away, the signs offered assorted damnation -- 'Barack Obama = Antichrist,' 'God Hates You,' 'You're Going to Hell' and 'Fag Media Shame.'"


And it sounds like it was a real showdown:

"The counterprotesters were waiting across the two-lane street -- men in skirts and boots, moms with babes in arm, lifelong Silverton residents alongside kids playing hooky from Salem schools. The crowd of about 150 waved and drummed and hugged. Their signs, homemade, hurriedly produced on office laser printers and painted on the back of campaign yard signs, focused on the positive. 'My love is bigger than your hate,' read one. 'We love Stu (and so does God).' 'Everyone is welcome in Silverton.' For nearly an hour, the two sides faced off in a tense demonstration of wills. The cool air was mostly quiet, except for passing pickups and school buses. One Kansas visitor mumbled a riff from Aerosmith's hard rock ditty, 'Dude looks like a lady.' Another pointed a stone smile at boys who threw curses out the windows of passing cars. When the church members began to chant, a man beat a drum to drown them out."

Watch a news clip about the protest (shot beforehand) and video of the protest itself, AFTER THE JUMP...

Anti-gay group no match for Silverton [oregon live]
Silverton rallies against church's hate message [statesman journal]
Statesman Journal photo gallery [statesman journal]

Protest in Silverton

It's okay to have a little temper!

The pre-protest news report:

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  1. If only the rest of the country were as supportive as the residents of Silverton. Very inspiring.

    Posted by: White Label | Nov 25, 2008 9:56:26 AM

  2. Is it just me, or are these people complete hypocrites? They are standing on the American flag. Isn't that considered treason by most?

    Posted by: Jason | Nov 25, 2008 10:10:28 AM

  3. Excellent, excellent, excellent!!!

    Posted by: Michael W. | Nov 25, 2008 10:12:53 AM

  4. I'm confused. Obama couldn't be the anti-christ.

    No offense, but according to scripture in the Revelations, the anti-christ is full-blooded caucasian. Also, is this mean that the new Pope is also part of anti-christ.

    That's what it said on their religion Bible.

    Who started the Social Security #? Was it Eisenhower? Everyone back then thought Eisenhower was the anti-christ because of the Social Security # because everyone was given the number.

    Also, when Ronald Reagan was appointed president some people believe he, too, was anti-christ because everyone knew for being an actor.

    Posted by: Seph | Nov 25, 2008 11:20:05 AM

  5. Christians everywhere must be so proud.

    Posted by: Okie | Nov 25, 2008 11:35:14 AM

  6. Seph - people also thought that Reagan was the anti-Christ because his address in Bel Air was 666 St. Cloud St., but he had it changed to 668. Just a little factoid for the morning.

    How much do I love that lady at the end apologizing for her little bit of temper, "but she just can't help it, she's sick of it." I LOVE HER.

    And how much do I hate the ignoramus from WBC who didn't know if it was Deuteronomy or Isaiah in which God lays out the prohibition against transvestism. I mean, if she's going to travel halfway across the country to protest the election of a transgendered person to office, I think she should have at least gotten it right. I don't know if I am more offended by her idiocy or by her hatred.

    That aside, it is inspiring to know that there are still some places in America where people are good, decent, open-minded, loving, and accepting. The people of Silverton have every right to be proud of themselves and their mayor.

    Posted by: Andalusian Dog | Nov 25, 2008 11:38:49 AM

  7. I thought conservatives like these would know their flag decorum. The American Flag should never touch the ground. Why are they standing on the flag? It's disrespectful!

    You are supposed to stand atop a soap box. DUH!

    Anyway, congrats to Silverton for successfully thwarting this lame attack.

    Posted by: Jeremy | Nov 25, 2008 11:47:48 AM

  8. I just sent the town of Silverton a congratulatory e-mail for peacefully demonstrating community solidarity in the face of those who continue to try to make American towns sites of intolerance and hatred. I encourage you to do the same:

    Posted by: Andalusian Dog | Nov 25, 2008 11:52:55 AM

  9. SEPH and ANDALUSIAN DOG: and Reagan's full name is RONALD WILSON REAGAN, each with 6 letters. It's all there for the world to see.

    Posted by: David R. | Nov 25, 2008 12:02:29 PM

  10. The WBC clearly hate America or else they wouldn't stand on the flag. Can't we ship them to Guam or something?

    Posted by: Bandit | Nov 25, 2008 12:07:09 PM

  11. No, no, no. Cheyney is the anti-Christ. The Lord sent Barack to save the world. Battle over...the Lord won!

    But then what is Putin? The sequel to "Cheyney, Anti-Christ I"

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Nov 25, 2008 12:37:35 PM

  12. As someone who was born and raised in Silverton, I did not expect to see this kind of reaction. This isn't the little, white hovel that I grew up in anymore. Reading this just brought tears to my eyes and I am proud to be a former Silvertonion.

    Posted by: WeHo Superhero | Nov 25, 2008 1:44:44 PM

  13. The battle between light and dark continues...

    Posted by: Robbie Love | Nov 25, 2008 1:49:49 PM

  14. It's almost funny that the idiot from Westboro Baptist Church, a woman, can't see the misogyny in the idea that it would be shameful for a man to wear a woman's clothing.

    Posted by: peterparker | Nov 25, 2008 2:12:11 PM

  15. Actually, Reagan was suspected of being the "antichrist" because his first, middle and last names each added up to "6", or "666" (Ronald Wilson Reagan--you do the math).

    Posted by: mike | Nov 25, 2008 2:15:14 PM

  16. Silverton sounds like paradise (if you can stand the weather) ...

    Posted by: Rodney | Nov 25, 2008 2:30:19 PM

  17. Like I always say, "If God doesn't make mistakes and if I'm gay because that's what he wanted me to be. The challenge is to have everyone see it. That's their test, not mine."

    I'm not a Theologist, but I did some study on every major religions on this planet.

    The bible is like Shakespeare's books. You have to dig deep to find the right meeting of the words that written to it. Obviously, this WBC...whatever crap they called themselves, interpreted the Bible wrong.

    Posted by: Seph | Nov 25, 2008 7:22:53 PM

  18. As despicable as they are, the WBC is within it's rights to protest, but calling Pres-elect Obama the "anti-Christ" is actually pretty scary stuff, not to mention psychotic. Since I'm not a Christian, "anti-Christ" does not resonate with me, but there are a few folks out (all you need is one) there who might see that characterization as a call to arms.

    We all know there are some crazies out there who may react violently to our first black president, so why is the WBC allowed to make this kind of over the top, and I think dangerous statement?

    Posted by: dave | Nov 25, 2008 8:04:43 PM

  19. Well, that made me cry. Lip quivering and all.

    How totally fucking fantastic. Seriously, this story made my day.

    If PETA and the WBC members died in a horrific plane crash, I would dance naked down Stephen Avenue. Seriously.

    What hateful bastards.

    Posted by: Mara | Nov 26, 2008 12:24:55 AM

  20. I love how they look and claim to be pro-American when they're STANDING ON THE AMERICAN FLAG. The flag isn't even supposed to touch the ground. Now that is unpatriotic.

    Posted by: SLiver of Jade | Nov 26, 2008 1:09:39 PM

  21. Why don't we all have a media blackout on these people? Their oxygen is publicity--if we cut that off, the would cease to exist.

    Posted by: kdknyc | Mar 9, 2014 8:19:57 AM

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