School with gay Principal organises counter-protest against Westboro Baptist Church picket
Students, teachers and community members organised and attended a counter-protest against the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) of a Columbia High School.
Members of the Westboro Baptist Church targeted Wilson High School following the school Principal’s coming out speech at the school’s annual Pride Day that went viral.
The denomination is well known for its anti-gay rhetoric and claim that tolerance of homosexuality invokes the wrath of God.
When principal Pete Cahall came out to students at the event, he said that students “should be proud of themselves” for the turnout Monday morning.
Rachel Hockenbarger, member of the WBC, called Cahall’s coming out and the schools support towards the LGBT community as “shameful”
After Westboro confirmed their protest, over 1,000 students volunteered to participate in a peaceful counter-protest.
Westboro announced plans to protest the school’s Pride event during their planned trip to Washington D.C. where they will take part in 12 protests.
Following the death of the church’s pastor Fred Phelps, his grandson Zach Phelps-Roper split away from the church and condemned it a a “mind trap”.
He recently claimed that his grandfather had recanted his anti-gay views before his death, leading to him being forced out the church by the more militant members.