An anemic gathering of four Westboro Baptist Church members was met by some 250 counter-demonstrators in Annapolis yesterday, as the hate group rallied against Maryland‘s new marriage-equality law.
WBC members said they were picketing Maryland because it was the first to vote for marriage equality via public referendum. “Y’know Connecticut has gay marriage,” Shirley Phelps-Roper told reporters outside the Annapolis courthouse. “God sent the shooter into Newtown.”
Organized by St. Anne’s Episcopal Church, the counter-protest included parishioners from more than a half-dozen churches, as well as students from an area high school, according to The Baltimore Sun. “When people came to our city to preach hate, we stood up to them,” Annapolis Mayor Joshua Cohen said. “It was a beautiful scene.”
Another Phelps gathering in Towson was also met with counter-demonstrators at the Baltimore County Circuit Courthouse, forcing the cult to cut its protest short.
Gay couples in Maryland began marrying after midnight on Tuesday, but sine state offices were closed for New Year’s Day, Wednesday was the first time they could marry inside the courthouse.