Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-12-13



Anti-gay church holds protests in Chicago
by John Fenoglio

This article shared 5510 times since Wed Mar 10, 2010
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

First Amendment rights were on full display in downtown Chicago March 8. On one side of upper Wacker Drive protesters held signs and shouted "God hates fags!," "God hates Jews!" and "God hates Obama!" On the other side of the street, counterdemonstrators waved their own signs and shouted, "God hates the new Facebook!," "God hates when you don't call!" and "I was promised GaGa tickets!"

The showdown was between members of Westboro Baptist Church ( WBC ) and members of Equality Across America ( EAA ) .

Westboro congregants were in town to protest the Democratic National Committee and the Israel Consulate., Afterwards, they headed up the street to the Hyatt Regency to protest the 2010 Annual Humanitarian Awards Dinner of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center.

EAA members were there to protest WBC. Unlike the church members, however, EAA picketers seemed to be in positive spirits. Their numbers, alone—over 75 people compared to WBC's six—drowned out much of WBC's angry chanting.

"Our goal here is to try to bring a little levity to an otherwise angry group of people who certainly aren't making our fellow Chicagoans feel comfortable as they walk down the street. When we hold up signs that are as baseless and absurd as theirs, we're just teasing back, having a little fun with them. Only, our messages are meant to arouse some laughter," said Jamie Anderson, one of the EAA picketers.

WBC, located in Topeka, Kansas, is home to the Rev. Fred Phelps, the vitriolic preacher who campaigns the gospel using the message "God Hates [ insert any pejorative term ] ." Phelps has led demonstrations across the country for years, but only recently began garnering more attention for picketing funerals of fallen U.S. soldiers.

Reporter David Klepper of the Kansas City Star writes, "Westboro, an unaffiliated church with fewer than 100 members, went from local curiosity to national notoriety after it began protesting military funerals. Church members believe the deaths of military personnel — as well as tsunamis, Hurricane Katrina and the 2006 Amish school shooting — are God's punishment for the tolerance of homosexuality."

On March 8, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a case involving Phelps and his congregants in a case involving Phelps and the father of a marine killed in combat.

According to the Kansas City Star's Web site, Albert Snyder of York, Penn., sued WBC in federal court three years ago. Snyder argued that the protest "was an invasion of privacy that caused his family emotional distress."

However, last fall an appeals court overturned the $5 million verdict, "ruling the church's protests were protected by the First Amendment." The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear Snyder's appeal later this year.

Windy City Times asked the Rev. Lois McCullen Parr, who leads Lakeview's Broadway United Methodist Church, to comment on WBC's theology. Note: Prior to Rev. Parr's arrival at Broadway Methodist, WBC protesters descended on the church to protest its inclusion of members from the LGBT community in its congregation. Those protesters were met by thousands of neighborhood residents, who surrounded Broadway Methodist.

"The theology that Fred Phelps and his followers subscribe to completely contradicts the very essence of God, Christianity, and all the major religions," Parr said. "God is love. God does not hate. God created us just the way we are, and he's a pretty good cook, so I don't think he got the recipe wrong. It does make me sad, though, to know that there are people out there that want nothing more than to be loved, and think they've found solace in an organization like Westboro. How can you ever love yourself, let alone anyone else, if you always think you hate one group of people or another? But, it's not my place to tell people how to worship. All I can say is that this church welcomes everyone. When you think about it, in that sense, love prevails! You know, when those folks are not shouting hatful language, I bet they have a lot of love in their hearts. How could they not?"

View video of the event at:

This article shared 5510 times since Wed Mar 10, 2010
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By


Gay News

Vatican reiterates opposition to gender change, theory 2024-04-08
- On April 8, the Vatican reaffirmed its opposition to gender changes, gender theory and surrogate parenthood, as well as abortion and euthanasia, Reuters reported. This newest document—the 20-page Dignitas infinita ...

Gay News

LGBTQ Catholic group mourns the passing of Bishop Thomas Gumbleton 2024-04-05
--From a press release - April 5, 2024. DignityUSA joins members of the Archdiocese of Detroit and millions of people around our country and the world in mourning the death of Detroit Bishop Thomas Gumbleton. Bishop Gumbleton received DignityUSA's Risk Taker/Justice ...

Gay News

United Church of Hyde Park hosts LGBTQ+ storytelling event 2024-03-25
- About 20 people had gathered around four round tables in the community room of the United Church of Hyde Park, 1448 E. 53rd St., on March 23. They were listening quietly to a man tell the story of how, on a ...

Gay News

Bring Chicago Home Campaign releases open endorsement letter from 100+ faith leaders 2024-02-19
--From a press release - CHICAGO — With just over a month before the March 19th primary election, prominent Chicago faith leaders will today release a letter—signed by over 100 religious leaders—endorsing the Bring Chicago Home campaign to restructure the Real ...

Gay News

WORLD Marriage in Greece, UK politics, cruise death, HRC grants 2024-02-02
- The Holy Synod of the Church of Greece unanimously agreed at a recent meeting that it is "strongly opposed" to the Greek government's promised bill on same-sex marriage and adoption, Balkan Insight reported. The conservative New ...

Gay News

Ohio man sentenced for firebombing pro-LGBTQ+ church 2024-01-30
- On Jan. 29, 2024, Ohio resident Aimenn D. Penny was sentenced to 216 months (18 years) in prison followed by three years of supervised release for attempting to burn down a pro-LGBTQ+ church, according to a ...

Gay News

VIEWS Is the Pope Catholic? Francis faces opposition in steps toward LGBTQ+ inclusivity 2024-01-02
- The recent change in Vatican policy allowing priests to bless same-gender couples has provoked an unprecedented backlash against Pope Francis and his openness to LGBTQ+ peopleā€”a backlash that some fear might devolve into a schism in ...

Gay News

WORLD Brianna Ghey, archbishops, HIV, George Michael, Albanian women 2023-12-29
- A boy and a girl, each 16, were found guilty of murdering a transgender teenager in northwest England earlier this year in a knife attack, per a Yahoo! News item that cited the AP. Brianna Ghey, ...

Gay News

Catholic Church allows priests to bless same-sex couples but reaffirms disapproval of gay marriage 2023-12-22
- LGBTQ+ couples can now receive blessings from priests, but the Catholic Church maintained its strict ban on gay marriage, according to a Vatican document approved by Pope Francis Dec. 18. This historic change in doctrine marks ...

Gay News

Greek government vows to back marriage equality 2023-12-22
- Despite opposition from the Church of Greece and within the ruling New Democracy, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis' government said it will eventually move to legalize same-sex marriage, The National Herald reported. However, no timetable was ...

Gay News

Dignity/Chicago welcomes new rule on church blessings for same-sex marriages 2023-12-18
--From a press release - Dignity/Chicago, the advocacy organization for LGBTQI Catholics and friends, welcomed the news that the Vatican's doctrinal office has officially declared it possible for Catholic priests to bless same-sex unions and ...

Gay News

New Ways Ministry: Pope's blessings approval is Christmas gift to LGBTQ+ Catholics 2023-12-18
--From a press release - MOUNT RAINIER, Maryland—Statement by Francis DeBernardo, Executive Director, New Ways Ministry: Pope Francis gave LGBTQ+ Catholics an early Christmas gift this year by approving blessings for same-gender couples. The Vatican ...

Gay News

Pope Francis changes policy, allowing priests to bless same-sex unions; GLAAD responds 2023-12-18
--From a press release - GLAAD: "By removing barriers to priests blessing LGBTQ couples, the Pope accurately recognizes that LGBTQ people and our relationships are worthy of the same affirmation and support in the Church, and this strengthens couples in their ...

Gay News

Pope Francis's community of transwomen 2023-11-28
- It's a rare opportunity to meet the pope. It's even rarer if you're a transgender Catholic. However, on Nov. 19, in Torvaianica, Italy, a community of transwomen, many of them sex workers, were welcomed and seated ...

Gay News

Ghana cardinal: It's time to understand homosexuality 2023-11-27
- Ghana Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson told the BBC that being gay should not be considered illegal and that people should be helped to understand the issue of homosexuality better. Turkson's comments come as his country's ...


Copyright © 2024 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.

All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.




About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.