GLEN BURNIE – The Westboro Baptist Church is known for its strong anti-gay stance and for protesting at funerals of fallen U.S. soldiers, but on Tuesday they picked a new place to protest: a Maryland high school.
Three church members protested in front of Glen Burnie High School, saying the wrath of God was upon the students.
“It’s time to obey, it’s time to put away your sin and get right with the Lord,” said Rebekah Phelps-Roper, one of the protesters.
They showed up in front of Glen Burnie slightly after 2pm when the students were let out of school for the day. They carried signs with messages like “God is your enemy” and “Thank God for dead soldiers.”
The protesters said they chose the school because Jeff Sears, a former Glen Burnie High school teacher, was charged with sexual abuse in December.
“It’s not OK to be gay. It’s not OK to fornicate. It’s not OK to have sex before marriage,” Phelps-Roper said.
Glen Burnie students left class early to stage a counter protest.
“God doesn’t hate us,” said student Alexis Witt.
Student Colleen White said the Westboro protest actually brought students closer together, as they discussed tolerance and anti-bullying in the days leading up to the protest.
“It’s really cool to see our school come together and unify together for one common cause,” she said.
Westboro Baptist Church members also protested at the Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery on Tuesday. While only three of their members came to Glen Burnie High School protest, hundreds of students, parents, and community members participated in the counter protest.