The Westboro Baptist Church is at it again. The vile, virulently homophobic assembly has announced a planned demonstration on December 29 in Pueblo, "where they foam at the mouth to marry fag dogs" according to a release on view below. In response, multiple Facebook pages have popped up to organize counter-protests. Photos, details and more below.
The unlikely target of the WBC's ire this time around is Pueblo Clerk and Recorder Gilbert Ortiz, who is attacked at the outset of the latest release not only by name, but also by Twitter handle. An excerpt:
@PuebloCoClerk and Recorder Gilbert Ortiz (@Bochefus) couldn't move fast enough to start marrying fags. The minute he sensed there was a crack in the dyke, he sprang into action, forcing the filthy soul-damning sin down the throat of willing Coloradoans.
Exhibit A for the church is the following Ortiz tweet:
My Grandma's voice in my head singing that lovely Hymn,"This is the day that the lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!" #Pueblo
— Gilbert Ortiz (@Bochefus) October 6, 2014
As you can see, this tweet went out on October 6. But it's apparently stuck in the craw of the WBC faithless for months, in part because of its Biblical reference. In an incredibly convoluted sentence, the aforementioned announcement accuses Ortiz of "bastardizing that blessed Psalm 118, describing the day when the stone which the builders refused (Jews killed Christ; and USA 'Christians' reject him yet today -- is become the head stone of the corner in which the righteous rejoice, not the fag-marrying day of the rebel Christ-haters)."
The salvo goes on to say, "Shame on you, Mr. Fag-Marrying Ortiz. No matter what any Court says, no matter how the rebellious proud sinners of Colorado clamour [sic], you are supposed to render this matter unto God.... You should have resigned before you set your hand to this awful mischief! Instead, you did it with zeal and fervour [sic], bragging about your foaming filth before God, the angels, and the great cloud of witnesses that will testify against you in eternity."
The concluding question: "What part of 'God Hates Fag Marriage' don't you understand?"
The rally is supposed to take place at 12:35 p.m. on Monday, December 29, at the Pueblo County Courthouse -- and the Southern Colorado Equality Alliance plans to be ready. A recent post on its Facebook page reads:
Well... the Westboro Church has announced they are coming to Pueblo to spread some of their holiday cheer....er hate. SCEA will be organizing a counter protest, more information to be announced.This hate group and their hate speech will not be welcomed here in Pueblo, we will stand strong and united.
Since then, at least two Facebook event pages have been launched in opposition to the WBC's Pueblo visit: Response to Westboro Baptist Church Coming to Pueblo and Join Us in Protest of the Westboro Baptist Church. At this writing, the cumulative number of people committed to attending the counter-protest has exceeded 500, which definitely pleases the SCEA, as indicated in this update:
The response and support for a response to the WBC protest has been amazing. Many of you have presented wonderful ideas or have expressed your opinion in a beautiful demonstration of Pueblo solidarity.Thank you. For clarification, please note the following:
Yes there will be a response to this planned protest-even if the WBC does not follow through.
There will be a meeting set to determine the most effective way to respond and how we, as a community need to respond. A meeting date and time will be posted on this page next week.
The media has already contacted various community leaders, LGBTQ organizations, military organizations seeking a response on the issue.
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As promised, the SCEA subsequently revealed that a meeting has been set to discuss the counter-protest. It'll take place at 3 p.m. Saturday, December 20, at the Pueblo Clarion Inn.
As alluded to in the SCEA update, the Westboro Baptist Church has been known to announce protests and then not bother to show up, with members presumably contenting themselves with causing a stir. But the Pueblo location is such an easy drive from the church's Topeka, Kansas home base that the odds of it actually happening are better than usual. If it does, WBC participants shouldn't be lonely. Here's a look at the full Westboro Baptist Church release:
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.