The Westboro Baptist Church came to Annapolis this morning as promised and spent about an hour spewing their rhetoric against gay marriage. However, Annapolis came out in droves to let them know that love is better than hate.
While Shirley Phelps-Roper and three other members chanted and sang songs denigrating homosexuals, members of St. Anne’s Church gathered in their courtyard to sing hymns. In addition to the St. Anne’s members, about 300 additional protesters gathered along the sidewalks of Church Circle to let the Westboro Baptist Church know that they were not welcome in Annapolis.
According to Sgt. Eric Crane of the Annapolis Police Department, the protest and counter protest went off without a hitch. The APD, Anne Arundel County Sheriff’s Department, the Maryland State Police, and the Department of General Services Police all came together to make sure that traffic flowed, and everyone was able to speak their piece.
Annapolis Mayor, Joshua Cohen was at the protest and was very proud of Annapolis and Maryland for being so tolerant of everyone. He said it was a mixed message for the Westboro Baptist Church because their presence not only draws attention to themselves, but to how progressive Maryland is as a whole.
More images will follow later this afternoon.
Westboro Baptist Church has been to Anne Arundel County two other times in the past few years. To see our coverage on past protests, please click here!