Anti-LGBTI hate group, Westboro Baptist Church, protested a South Californian school attended by the 2019 Rose Queen, Louise Deser Siskel.
Up to five members of the extremist group protested outside of Sequoyah High School in Pasadena, California.
Footage posted onto Twitter showed one member singing a modified version of Bastille’s Pompeii with homophobic lyrics.
The member sung: ‘How are you gonna be an optimist about this? God smacks your heart and you throw another big fit.’
Westboro Baptust Church member Shirley Phelps-Roper came from the group’s home base in Topeka to protest the school and Siskel. She sang a version of Bastille’s “Pompeii” with modified lyrics. pic.twitter.com/qo5LoNaZge
— Christopher Yee (@ChrisMYee) February 25, 2019
However, the local Californian community rallied against the group, outnumbering them in the process.
‘Blessed to be LGBT’
A counter-protest was held in retaliation to the church’s activities.
Members of the public held rainbow-themed signs and expressions of solidarity.
A Twitter user posted pictures of the protest and captioned: ”When Westboro Baptist pickets your workplace you must be doing something right.’
‘My God loves all and so do we,’ one sign read.
Another sign said: ‘Blessed to be LGBT.’
Others were by proud parents, holding signs such as ‘I love my trans son,’ and ‘Proud Asian Dad of a Gay kid.’
Rev. Lissa Anne Gundlach, a senior minister at Pasadena’s Neighborhood Church, took to Facebook express her frustrations at this protest.
She called on the Pasadena community to ‘come together to rise above this hate group.’
Moreover, according to Pasadena Weekly, Pasadena Police Chief John Perez described the Westboro Baptist Church as ‘peaceful and cooperative’ in an email exchange with a concerned resident.
But this was based on past interactions Perez had with the group. He wrote that they expect ‘a very loud group of 15 people or so — likely not much more.’
The Rose Queen
The Pasadena Tournament of Roses is an annual event occurring each September.
Their 2019 queen, Queen Louise Siskel, was a Jewish woman who came out as bisexual on New Years Eve.
She attends Pasadena’s Sequoyah High School and is the first Jewish and openly LGBTI woman to hold this title.
Siskel wrote in the Los Angeles Times: ‘I never considered that my sexual orientation might be of interest to anyone but my family and my closest friends.
‘But in this new, very public position, I feel it’s important to present myself authentically, especially to those who look to the Royal Court as a representation of our community.’