TOPEKA, Kan. — The Westboro Baptist Church, home of the “God hates Fags” movement, found itself with ringside seats to drag show on Saturday, organized by its neighbor, the rainbow-painted Equality House.
The fund-raising event was to benefit anti-bullying programs was organized by the non-profit human rights organization Planting Peace, which owns and maintains the Equality House.
Teenagers across the country “are taking their lives every year at an alarming rate,” and many of those are LGBTQ youth, said Amelia Markham, Director of Outreach for Equality House, in a statement.
“We want to use every opportunity we can to switch that message and preach love and inclusion instead of hate,” she said. “The drag show was the perfect opportunity to declare that message and to raise funds for our anti-bullying initiative for schools in the area and eventually across the country.”"
Article continues belowEquality House has held a number of events previously at its location across from the Westboro Baptist Church compound in an effort to bring visibility to LGBTQ people and counter the Church’s anti-gay messaging. They include hosting a same-sex wedding ceremony, and a lemonade stand that raised thousands of dollars.
“Our first ‘Drag Down Bigotry’ event was a huge success and we are very pleased with how many people participated in and/or supported our efforts,” Aaron Jackson, President of Planting Peace said in a statement. “This was another successful step towards silencing the hate from the WBC and bringing awareness to the high suicide rate amongst our LGBTQ youth.”