Counter-Protests Being Organized After Westboro Baptist Church Announces Protests of Orlando Victims’ Funerals
Douchebags gonna douchebag.
This is a difficult enough time for the families of the victims in the Pulse shooting in Orlando without having to deal with even more hatred. Unfortunately, douchebags gonna douchebag and the Westboro Baptist Church have announced that they’re going to be protesting the funerals of the victims. Thankfully, there are people who won’t be standing idly by allowing that to happen.
The Westboro Baptist Church (all forty-odd members!) filed for a permit to protest in Orlando June 18 and 19. In response the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida has begun organizing a counter-protest for tomorrow at the Cathedral Church of St. Luke in Orlando, which is where the funerals will be held.
They will be working with the American Theater in Orlando and the Orlando Shakespeare Theater to create large angel wings for the protest. Protesters will be able to wear them to shield the grieving families from the sight of Westboro in a move reminiscent of the protests that took place after Matthew Shepard was killed in a hate crime in Laramie, WY almost 20 years ago. In addition, there is a Facebook page called Human Chain Link for Pulse Funerals that is organizing additional counter-protests in support of the victims.
If you don’t live in Orlando, but want to help the victims families and survivors, the Human Chain Link page refers to the OneOrlando Fund, which was set up by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer to provide them with assistance at this harrowing time.
Here’s the thing. The Westboro Baptist Church is excruciatingly hateful…but there’s fewer than 50 of them. They will always be outnumbered. I applaud these counter protests, not only because no family should have to look at hateful people as they’re mourning their dead, but because it will drive home the message that as hateful, spiteful, and angry as hate groups like Westboro are, they are in the firm minority. Easily countered. Easily ignored. A laughingstock as they cling to the vestiges of any relevance they may have had (if any).
We here at TMS stand with the Pulse victims, survivors, their families, and the LGBTQIA Community at large. We will overcome this as we do everything else, with protection and love instead of destruction and hate. We will take care of each other, and we will continue to fight for a more just and equitable world.
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