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November-20-00

Anti-Lesbian and Gay Church Targets Maine, Vermont

The inflammatory Westboro Baptist Church visited Maine this past weekend, and plans to visit Vermont and New Hampshire in the next few days, says the Boston Globe. Westboro Baptist Church members, with the infamous Rev. Fred Phelps, traveled to Kennebunk Maine, picketing outside several churches who supported the recent ballot measure to extend anti-discrimination protection to lesbians and gays. The ballot measure failed by a narrow margin. The group plans to picket in Montpelier, Vermont, today to register their opposition to the state’s same-sex civil union law. The group will then move on to Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire to protest the school’s June announcement allowing lesbian and gay couples to serve as live-in advisors in its dormitories.

The Westboro Baptist Church is best known for its “God Hates Fags” picket signs, and for protesting outside the funerals of gay and lesbian individuals, including murdered University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard. In Kennebunk, the group faced a counterprotest of local individuals holding signs reading “Zealots Go Home.” Westboro Baptist Church, located in Topeka, Kansas, is not officially affiliated with any denomination. Even the Southern Baptist Convention, which is openly anti-gay, has disassociated itself from Westboro and its leader Phelps.

Media Resources: Boston Globe - November 20, 2000 and US Feminist Daily Newswire June 12, 2000 and November 8, 2000 and Southern Baptist Convention Press Release May 17, 1999

   

     

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