Sunday, November 14, 2010

God Loves Fags/Hugs Not Hate

When the Westboro Baptist Church announced on its website last week that it was going to come to Edmonton to picket outside of a production of the play The Laramie Project on November 13, the city's GLBT community and other sympathetic activists knew they could not sit quietly.

Although members of the church, which is led by Fred Phelps and mostly consists of his immediate family, never showed, the counter-protest took place anyways. It was known by two names: God Loves Fags, as a response to the church's famous picket signs that read "God Hates Fags", and the more family-friendly "Hugs Not Hate."

Around 300 people showed up. Speakers included local politicians, GLBT activists, and even an estranged child of Fred Phelps who traveled all the way to Edmonton just for the rally. The entire event was organized in less than three days. What a cohesive and strong way to show that Edmonton does not tolerate hate.

The Laramie Project is a play about the 1998 murder of gay college student Matthew Shepherd.

Here are my photos from the protest as well as a video of Fred Phelps' estranged son Nate Phelps speaking.

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