Reporting Mike Schuh
GLEN BURNIE, Md. (WJZ)—A controversial church group once again brings its message to Maryland, protesting outside an Anne Arundel County high school.
Mike Schuh has more on why the Westboro Baptist Church is demonstrating and the massive counter-protest.
Traffic near the high school was snarled for many hours. Westboro Baptist Church had a busy day. They picketed at the Pentagon, Arlington National Cemetery and then at Glen Burnie High School.
But in Glen Burnie, they did not receive a warm welcome.
School hadn’t even let out, and Glen Burnie High School was surrounded.
“I think that everyone should have a right to be who they are,” said a counter-protester.
The streets were blocked off. Protestors took their sides: Westboro Baptist Church and their intolerance for homosexuals or the people of Glen Burnie–separated by dozens of officers.
“I would say they’re misguided,” said a counter-protester.
“You cannot allow hate to come into your community without confronting it,” said Chris Panasuk, counter-protester.
Motorcyclists revved their engines in an attempt to drown out the hate.
“They shouldn’t have a right to do what they’re doing,” said Chip, a former Marine.
Around 500 counter-protesters showed up — all for just three members of the Westboro Church.
For a half hour Westboro protesters stood, surrounded by barricades and counter-protesters.
“They thought Noah was crazy too right before the flood of waters. That sent them all straight to hell,” said Shirley Phelps-Roper, Westboro Baptist Church.
“I don’t feel the love of God alive in their hearts,” said a counter-protester. “So in that regard I’d have to pray for them.”
The next protest by the Westboro Baptist Church is in 11 days in Washington, D.C.
Glen Burnie High and police have been planning for this incident since they found out about it nearly a week ago.