News (USA)

Westboro Baptist Church blames Nex Benedict for his own death & will protest his school

The Westboro Baptist Church at a 2014 protest
The Westboro Baptist Church at a 2014 protest Photo: Shutterstock

The anti-LGBTQ+ Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) intends to stage a protest at Nex Benedict’s Oklahoma high school this week, accusing the teen, his parents, and his grandmother of being responsible for his death.

On its website, the Topeka, Kansas-based hate group currently lists two “public preaching” events for Wednesday, March 6, in Owasso, Oklahoma. The group, which is infamous for its “God Hates F*gs” signs, says its members will protest the Owasso Public School Board as well as Owasso High School on Wednesday.

“Lord willing, the Gospel will be preached at Owasso, OK, where they all treated Nex Benedict despitefully,” a WBC news release, which misgenders Benedict throughout, reads.

Benedict, a 16-year-old transgender student of Choctaw descent, died on February 8, a day after a violent altercation with three other students in a bathroom at Owasso High School West. An official cause of death has yet to be determined, pending a toxicology report. Nex’s mother, Sue Benedict, has indicated that Nex had been bullied because of his gender identity.

In its characteristically hate-filled statement, WBC blames Benedict for “[stirring] up a hornet’s nest, purposefully fighting with other girls at the school, committing criminal acts in the process, and [getting] the trouble [he] went looking for.”

On Friday, Owasso Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Margaret Coates responded to news of the Westboro Baptist protests.

“OPS is aware that Westboro Baptist Church, an activist organization based in Kansas that routinely engages in disruptive protests, has plans to visit Owasso on Wednesday, March 6,” Coates said in a statement, noting that WBC members would not be allowed onto district property.

“We understand that school safety continues to be top-of-mind, and I want to reassure our students, families, and staff that OPS takes all safety and security matters very seriously,” Coates continued. “District leaders are working closely with our law enforcement partners to monitor the situation, and I will provide you with updates as needed.”

Following widespread outcry from the LGBTQ+ community and advocacy organizations, the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) said Friday that it would launch an investigation into the Owasso Public Schools to determine whether the district “failed to appropriately respond to alleged harassment of students” in accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (a federal law which forbids sex-based discrimination) and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (a federal law which forbids discrimination based on gender dysphoria, including trans and nonbinary identity).

Don't forget to share:

Support vital LGBTQ+ journalism

Reader contributions help keep LGBTQ Nation free, so that queer people get the news they need, with stories that mainstream media often leaves out. Can you contribute today?

Cancel anytime · Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and operated

Chasten Buttigieg slams Moms for Liberty co-founders’ incompetence in just 9 words

Previous article

Donald Trump endorses ridiculously anti-LGBTQ+ Republican as “MLK on steroids”

Next article