Left Coast Right Watch

WESTBORO BAPTIST CHURCH DROWNED OUT, OUTNUMBERED ALMOST 9 TO 1 IN DENVER

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by SYLVIE EVANS of COLORADO PEOPLE'S PRESS

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Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) came to Denver on Saturday, December 18th. It was a low turnout for them—only 8 members attended, while around 70 people countered. The infamous hate group was in town to protest Jared Polis Colorado’s openly gay Governor and his Jewish partner.

“The people of Colorado have elevated a sodomite to be Governor of the land,” WBC released a statement on their website.

They also believe god sent coronavirus as punishment for the current state of the world.

“Lord willing, WBC will be on the scene to remind the people that God’s perfect COVID19 work, and all its mutations,” a church representative said in a press release.

Content warning: Homophobia
WBC stands on top of the Colorado state capital steps carrying various signs with antisemitic and homophobic messages
WBC stands atop the Colorado capitol steps

Westboro Baptist Church was founded in 1955 in Topeka, Kansas, but they didn’t become a center of national media attention until much later. Their profile skyrocketed after picketing the funeral of Matthew Shepard, a gay University of Wyoming student who was abducted and tortured and died from his injuries being gay in October of 1998. The church is mostly made up of the Phelps family and a few other families. Their “picketing ministry” started in 1991 and has been the center of attention of the “church” ever since.

They have picketed funerals of soldiers, pop musicians and children,all in the name of the idea that these deaths were punishments sent by god as a wrathful judgement on America for being accepting of homosexuality, non-Christians, and other fundamentalist grievances.

Two Colorado state patrol officers attempt to put tape back up knocked over by the wind. About 50 feet behind them there are WBC members holding various signs with homophobic and antisemitic messages
Colorado State Patrol officers put police tape back up after it was knocked over by the wind

The entire area leading up to the steps of the Colorado State Capital was taped off. WBC said they’d arrive at 3:15pm. Counter-protestors arrived at 2:00, bringing along Instruments and noise makers. Some counter-protestors said they weren’t there to directly confront them or “give them any attention” but to block out their hate. Others definitely were there to directly confront the hate group.

When WBC arrived around 2:40, the counter protestors immediately started yelling and playing music to drown out the hate. The method is usually used at pride parades to help protect the youth from the bile that bigots like these spew. Using such tactics during a counter protest where everyone in attendance wants to be directly confronting the bigots.

Counter protestors stand in front of the capitol before Westboro Baptist arrives rainbow and red flags are seen. People are hanging out preparing for WBC to arrive. Two people are doing an interview holding up rainbow umbrellas
Counter protestors arrive ahead of of WBC

WBC played there less-than-pleasing parody songs and yelled things like “god hates f—“ and much more vile rhetoric that doesn’t bear repeating. However, the counter-demonstrators’ noise strategy worked and the WBC gave up.The counter-demonstrators took a victory picture on the steps of the capital and everyone dispersed.

Ironically, the WBC left right at the time they’d announced for their arrival—3:15.

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