Counter-protesters outnumber Westboro church as gay couples begin to marry in Maryland

Members of the extremist Westboro Baptist Church were outnumbered by counter protesters outside courthouses in Maryland on Wednesday when they came to picket same-sex marriages being performed in the state

Counter-protesters outnumber Westboro church as gay couples begin to marry in Maryland
03 January 2013

Hundreds of people turned out to counter-protest members of the Westboro Baptist Church who had traveled to picket Maryland courthouses on Wednesday – the day courthouses began to perform same-sex marriages in the state.

The church posted online that it was targeting Maryland as it had been the first in the US to legalize same-sex marriage in a popular vote.

‘Westboro brings these words of warning, knowing they may be the last that you get,’ the group posted online.

‘Your duty is to fear and obey God, and do it like you mean it, with joy and gladness.’

In the state capital of Annapolis more than 250 protesters, many of whom were members of local Baptist, Presbyterian and Unitarian congregations, were joined by the city’s Mayor Joshua Cohen to outnumber four members of the Westboro Baptist Church.

‘When people came to our city to preach hate, we stood up to them,’ Cohen told the Baltimore Sun after the protest, ‘It was a beautiful scene.’

The protest was also attended by students from Annapolis High School who said their teacher had allowed them to skip class to attend the protest.

‘Their whole organization is offensive,’ Annapolis High student Adam Walden told the Baltimore Sun, ‘They were here to preach hate, we were there to preach love.’

‘[They] don’t have the right to ruin someone’s wedding day,’ said fellow student Sarah Sykora, ‘It makes us really mad, so we wanted to stand up.’

Westboro Baptist Church members then traveled to the Baltimore County Circuit Courthouse where they were met by dozens more counter-protestors who said that they didn’t want anybody’s wedding to be ruined by the church members.

Baltimore resident Melissa Tillery told the newspaper that she had attended because she ‘didn’t want anybody’s wedding to be ruined.’

‘We wanted to brighten the courthouse instead of bringing doom and gloom.’

Two weeks ago the church threatened to picket memorial services for victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Connecticut but failed to show after hundreds traveled to Newtown to form a human barricade against church members.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

German football fans banned for anti-gay banner

German football club Borussia Dortmund gives fans maximum three year penalty for homophobic banner
No thumbnail available

Australia’s leader of the opposition speaks out against discrimination

Tony Abbott defends ‘second class citizens’ but does not include gay Australians
No thumbnail available

Celebrities worldwide go purple for Spirit Day

Stephen Fry, Sir Ian McKellan and others show their solidarity with LGBT youth
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Adam Lambert defends Les Misérables rant

Gay US popstar blasting the all-star cast including Russell Crowe for 'pretending' they are singers
No thumbnail available

Idaho ordered to pay $400,000 to lawyers who fought gay marriage ban

Governor wants to take his gay marriage battle to the Supreme Court
No thumbnail available

British gays urged to quit smoking

Figures show LGBT people smoke more than straights
No thumbnail available

US magazine Family Circle defends decision to feature gay dads amidst backlash

The women's magazine received backlash from hateful readers after featuring a gay male couple alongside their two daughters, for the first time
No thumbnail available

Britain's Got Talent choir star was victim of Twitter gay hate

Homophobic cyber bullies have targeted 14-year-old Only Boys Aloud member Morgan Westcott since he was seven
No thumbnail available

Canadian gay porn channel warned over not showing more local content

The Canadian Radio-television & Telecommunications Commission is concerned that porn channel Maleflixxx is not showing enough Canadian made gay porn and wants it to meet its quota for local content