Same sex-marriage debate: Westboro Baptist Church protest falls flat -- because gay haters don't show up

Fireworks were on the agenda last night in Boulder.

The setting: CU. The occasion: a debate about same-sex marriage sponsored by the campus Catholic ministry. The opponents: Representatives of Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church, whose web address,, symbolizes the organization's vileness, and CU students determined to face down hate with love, '60s-style (they even brought along flowers!).

What happened? Not very much -- because the church's forces never arrived.

Yesterday, WBC certainly seemed to be girding for combat. Here's a note that appeared on the schedule section of its website:

University of Colorado at Boulder -- Fags Can't Marry, stupid 904 14th Street -- Chem 140

We've picketed that vile place before, and they got the whole city out to try to run us off. That only proved to show what violent losers they are in that little town. However they definitely got the message, to wit: God Hates Fags, God Hates Fag Enablers, and God Hates You all in Boulder, CO.

But as noted in this Boulder Daily Camera account (and as seen in the Camera video above), no WBC supporters stepped up for bile spewing. The result? Some one-sided sign-waving and fellowship, plus a reportedly polite conversation about gay marriage.

Looks like God felt like making Westboro frontman Fred Phelps and his evil minions look even stupider and more inconsequential than usual. Nice job, Big Guy.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts