You've likely heard of the Westboro Baptist Church. Perhaps you've seen their pickets on the news, the members holding signs with offensive messages, protesting at events such as the funerals of soldiers, the 9-year old victim of the recent Tucson shooting, and Elizabeth Edwards, all in front of their grieving families.
Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church members picketed Vassar College Thursday, condemning the school for embracing the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender student community. Upwards of one-thousand counter-protestors gathered on the Town of Poughkeepsie campus, to affirm social justice and denounce hatred.
Amanda Moody is a junior at Vassar. She participated in the counter-protest, as did her mother, father, and younger brother.
TOWN OF POUGHKEEPSIE – Hundreds of Vassar College students, intent on celebrating diversity, overwhelmed a brief protest by the hate-monger group Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, KS. A small group of church members came to the Mid-Hudson Valley Thursday with plans to protest at the West Point funeral of Gen. Normal Schwarzkopf as well as picket a Vassar College in Poughkeepsie.
They got nowhere near the Schwarzkopf funeral.
The college protest was aimed at damning the school for its inclusion of gay students.
Westboro Baptist Church members have two pickets planned for today in the Hudson Valley - one on each side of the Hudson River. The anti-gay Church established by Pastor Fred Phelps is known for its pickets of military funerals and liberal-arts colleges.