"Fags Wed," "God Hates America," "Your Pastor is Lying," "Fag Enablers," and "God Blew Up the Shuttle" were just some of the signs carried around Portland by members from the Westboro Baptist Church this morning.
The WBC is home to Rev. Fred Phelps and is behind the website www.godhatesfags.com. Phelps sent his cronies to Portland this weekend due to Oregon's unprecedented support of queers and queer marriage.
Along with carrying around hateful signs, members of the WBC also sang "America, America," substituting "With burning flames and crashing planes, God shed his wrath on thee," for the original lyrics.
I followed the WBC to three different churches this morning before they went to PSU. At each church, members of the congregation came out to usher worried church-goers inside and to smile and greet passers-by. At the church on SW 14th and Columbia, one person showed up with a huge sign which read "God Loves Us All" and at the 1st United Methodist Church on SW 18th and Jefferson, a girl had a sign that said "God Loves All," which the members of the WBC threw shit on.
More than their hateful messages, passers-by seemed to be upset by one loud member of the WBC dragging an American flag around on the ground and standing on it, calling it a "filthy fag symbol." One man with "Marines" embroidered on his jacket got in the guy's face and another man had to be held back from hitting the hate-monger.
PSU had the biggest turnout for counter-protesters with loud music and plenty of pro-queer signs. Through a benefit that contributed money for every minute that the WBC was there protesting, they (I'm not sure of the organization" raised over $200 for SMYRC.
Tomorrow, 4/19 at 9:15 am, the WBC is going to return to PDX after a stint in Salem to protest at the PDX City Hall. All are encouraged to come and to show your support for queers and queer allies or just your hatred for Phelps' evil message!