Kansas City area residents Chris Love, a 28-year-old computer programmer, and college student Bethany Rowell are fed up with Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church picketing anti-gay hate around the nation. So fed up that they’ve begun organizing a “Million Fag March” (to use a term dear to the Phelps clan) in hope of spreading a message that intolerance is unacceptable.
They plan to march on the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka this March 30.
I asked Love why he was organizing an event that might only serve to promote the church’s message.
Said Love: “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.”
Love emphasizes that this isn’t a “gay-only” event and he hopes plenty of heterosexual people will join on. When I spoke to Love he had roughly a couple hundred people signed up to attend the march. They’re hoping to improve the attendance via word-of-mouth and the internet.
Million Fag March [official site]