Counter-Protesters Rally to Support LGBTQ+ Students Against Hate Group

Video by OneMa1ze Show reporters Dakota Crane, Kyle Kassitz, Vince Stallard, Tyler Tarter

On+December+11%2C+a+group+of+pro+LGBTQ%2B+counter-protesters+converse+with+one+another%2C+ignoring+the+Westboro+Baptist+Church+protesters+in+front+of+Maize+South+High+School.
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Counter-Protesters Rally to Support LGBTQ+ Students Against Hate Group

On December 11, a group of pro LGBTQ+ counter-protesters converse with one another, ignoring the Westboro Baptist Church protesters in front of Maize South High School.

On December 11, a group of pro LGBTQ+ counter-protesters converse with one another, ignoring the Westboro Baptist Church protesters in front of Maize South High School.

Photo by Rian Dolph

On December 11, a group of pro LGBTQ+ counter-protesters converse with one another, ignoring the Westboro Baptist Church protesters in front of Maize South High School.

Photo by Rian Dolph

Photo by Rian Dolph

On December 11, a group of pro LGBTQ+ counter-protesters converse with one another, ignoring the Westboro Baptist Church protesters in front of Maize South High School.

Ben Anderson and Rian Dolph, Bullseye Design Editor and Staff Reporter

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Last Wednesday, a hate group from Topeka visited USD 266 high schools to protest a district decision from September regarding their decision to enforce the one graduation gown color for commencement in May 2020.

Following this decision, it has been questioned by not only those in the Maize community, but a group from Topeka, Kansas, called the Westboro Baptist Church. They are classified as a hate group. Their main target is the LGBTQ+ community, however they have also targeted Jews, Catholics, Atheists, orthodox Christians, Muslims, U.S. soldiers, and even American politicians including President Obama and Trump

The hate group arrived on the corner of 37th and Tyler around 1:30. While there were only four protesters from Westboro Baptist Church, there were over 60 counter protesters from Parasol Patrol sporting all sorts of rainbow apparel in support of the USD 266 decision.

The Topeka-based hate group carried large signs within their small barricaded area, suggesting vexation towards the LGBTQ+ community.

Many counter-protesters were not affiliated with the Parasol Patrol; this included community members who worked nearby and even parents of students within the Maize South community.

“They’re essentially using their religion to belittle and hate others,” said a counter-protester who is employed by a local business. “I think everyone should be treated with respect regardless. Everyone deserves to love whom they want.”

The hate group’s message is nontraditional from the message of God’s love of regular Christians, and they preach that God hates the sin and the sinner.

Photo by Rian Dolph
Counter protesters stood underneath umbrellas, backs towards WBC, ignoring the hate group. They also used loud music to block out the chants of the protesters.

“To preach the gospel requires preaching against all sin, but it’s most important to preach about the sins of our day,” per the hate group’s website about why they focus specifically on the LGBTQ+ community. “We are not the ones insisting that this awful behavior serve as the basis for special legal rights.”

With over sixty counter-protesters wrapping around the barrier of Maize South private and public property, one counter-protester believes that kindness is the key to overcoming hostility from hate groups.

“I think life is hard enough, and everyone is fighting their own struggle.” another counter protester said. “Everyone should just be nice. There’s just no reason to be mean to each other.”