Fred Phelps and his hateful followers were planning a protest at a community college in a town about an hour north of me, because the college is putting on the play "The Laramie Project."
Several fearless feminist, progressive friends of mine (is that redundant?), who didn't think Phelps and his fellow assholes would show up, nevertheless went to the counter-protest supporting, well, the opposite of hate.
Phelps didn't show - but about 300 people against his hateful antics did!
I am amazed because this is a super conservative mill town (I used to work there. Guess who didn't fit in?) that's typically behind the social times by about 50 years.
My three friends were debating whether or not it was better to go or not to go, because to go would give Phelps attention if he and his minions showed up - but this was my (straight) friend's take:
My take on it is:
This isn't for the Westboro Baptist Church; this is for all the good citizens of Cowlitz County who so dutifully rallied around the "Celebrate Diversity" mantra last year without even once mentioning the word "gay". This is for all the folks who marched in the diversity march because they so self-righteously stand behind rights for African Americans and yet feel that they can hide behind their religious beliefs in order to discriminate against gays.
As far as I'm concerned, it's more of an in-your-face "Accept all types of diversity or go stand on the other side of the street with the Phelpses, assholes!" message to this community.
There's absolutely no message that the Phelpses are going to hear and comprehend so I repeat--Fuck them.
I was proud of her.
And my god...if that many people can show up on a winter day to protest anti-gay hate, we are moving forward toward civil rights for all.
I am looking forward to that day.