facebook
twitter
search
search

Counter-protest discourages Westboro demonstration

June 14, 2011 at 12:42 PM
| License Photo

NASHVILLE, June 14 (UPI) -- Three protesters from a notorious Kansas church left a military funeral in Tennessee after only 10 minutes when 2,000 counter-protesters showed up.

The Westboro Baptist Church group left 2 hours before Marine Sgt. Kevin Balduf's service started Monday, The (Nashville) Tennessean reported. The Topeka, Kan., church, which consists mostly of one extended family and is best-known for its opposition to homosexuality, pickets military funerals with signs bearing messages like "Thank God for dead soldiers."

Balduf, 27, was killed in Afghanistan May 12.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in March that Westboro has a constitutional right to picket funerals. Since then, counter-protests have grown.

"It's just the right thing to do," said Adam Gordon, 27, who was injured while serving in the Army in Iraq. "It's a military funeral, so we should all be here showing our thanks, anyway."

Before they arrived at the Woodmont Hills Family of God Church, the Westboro group picketed the Gordon Jewish Community Center in Bellevue and the Islamic Center of Nashville. At the Islamic Center, worshipers greeted them with silence.

"We prayed for them," Imam Mohammed Ahmed said. "We decided to ignore them."

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
U.S. officials, Boeing believe wreckage likely from missing Malaysian jet
Obama administration offers assistance in Cecil the lion investigation
Poland's richest man Jan Kulczyk dies at 65 in Vienna
Federal Reserve declines to raise interest rates
India executes 1993 Mumbai bomber Yakub Memon by hanging