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|Anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church plans protests in Savannah|
|by Dyana Bagby|
|May 03, 2011 14:53|
Savannah gay activists are gearing up for a rally when the "God Hates Fags" church rolls into town on May 22 to hold a protest at several local churches with plans to return to Savannah on May 27 to protest high schools.
Act Out Savannah, an LGBT activist group, is already organizing a "Rally Against Hate" to be held May 22, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the First Baptist Church, one of the churches WBC will be protesting.
A planning meeting for the rally is set for Thursday, May 5, at 6:30 p.m. at 2226 Whitaker St.
"A peaceful protest against bigotry, prejudice and violence will be held in direct response and defiance of the Westboro Baptist Church's continued mission to bring pain, suffering and humiliation to others in the guise of religion," states a press release from Act Out Savannah.
Another group, Savannah Unite, is planning a candlelight vigil on Wednesday, May 27, to protest Westboro's visit to Savannah. The vigil will be at Forsyth Park at the Orchestra Stage from 6-9 p.m.
"We invite the Savannah community, its institutions, organizations, families, and friends to join us for this festival of love. Let's show WBC that their words of negativity can not affect our beautiful city and community through words and actions of love and tolerance," states the Facebook invitation for the vigil.
Another Facebook page is asking people to join to also hold counter protests of WBC during its several stops in Savannah. "Spread the love not the hate — this must stop. We can't let where we live be associated with the hatred of the Westboro Baptist Church," the page states.
Westboro Baptist Church, famous for its "God Hates Fags" mantra and making headlines in recent years for protesting military funerals, posted to its website on April 28 its plans to protest First Baptist Church from 10:30-11 a.m. on May 22. WBC, led by Fred Phelps, also plans on May 22 to protest other Savannah churches on May 22, including Savannah Christian Church, St. John the Baptist Church and St. John's Episcopal Church.
Westboro will hold its protest at Savannah Christian Church also from 10:30-11 a.m. according to its website. Westboro condemns SCC, saying, "The Lord your God has sent you a strong delusion that you would believe the lies that your so-called preachers tell you. You lap up the fables of God loves everyone and it's ok to be gay because you have no standing to dispute them. They make you feel good and allow you to think that your sins are by far better than the next guy so no reason to put them away and obey."
Westboro plans to return to Savannah on Friday, May 27, to protest local high schools, including Beach High School, Jenkins High School and Windsor Forest High School.
"We will picket these fag-infested pervert-run Savannah, GA high schools," WBC states on its website.
Top photo: Rebecca Phelps-Davis, daughter of Fred Phelps, founder of the virulently anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church, holds her hateful signs while across the street at Grady High School in May 2010 (by Dyana Bagby)
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