An LGBT centre which was set up in January in a neighbouring building to the adamantly homophobic Westboro Baptist Church, has found itself at the wrath of the church, which told a 5-year-old supporter of peace that she will “burn in hell”.
In January, activists from the Planting Peace charity painted a small house, named Equality House, opposite the compound owned by Westboro, in rainbow colours, in a political statement against the controversial church.
Accompanied by her father, 5-year-old Jayden Sink, spent four hours on the driveway of Equality House on Friday, selling “pink lemonade for peace”, with the aim to raise money for Planting Peace’s anti-bullying initiative.
The church responded by erecting a sign which read: “Fags and enablers all burn in hell. Lemonade won’t cool any tongues”.
It also released a press statement which said: “If you loved Jayden, you’d teach her to obey her God, who said ‘if you love me, keep My commandments!’ (John 14:15 Including: no fags! (Leviticus 18:22)”.
She raised around $200 (£130), on the day, and an online fundraiser set up in her name raised over $20,000 (£12,950) since Friday.
“Our intention was never to go stand up to the Westboro Baptist Church or any of that,” said her father, Jon. “We went out there to support Planting Peace, to support all the initiatives they do, and to teach Jayden about peace and love and compassion.”
Jayden’s lemonade stand is not the only thing likely to get Westboro’s attention, as on Saturday, Planting Peace plans to hold a same-sex wedding ceremony in the front yard, in full view of the church.
The two women who are to marry are expected to be joined by around 50 friends and family members.
Planting Peace co-founder Aaron Jackson described it as a “sensitive time”, as the US Supreme Court is expected to make a ruling in two equal marriage cases imminently. “It sends a signal to the Supreme Court that this is what we want,” he continued.
The church previously tweeted PinkNews to say that God sent the killers in the suspected terror killing in Woolwich, London, because the equal marriage bill passed its third reading in the House of Commons.