400 picket Westboro Baptist church

Kansas City Star/March 31, 2008

Instead of picketing by members of Topeka's Westboro Baptist Church, about 400 people targeted the church in a Sunday protest of their own.

Organizers said the event drew marchers touting messages of compassion and tolerance for homosexuals. The church is known for its anti-gay message and picketing of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Homosexual, heterosexual and transgender pickets hugged, danced and cheered as passers-by honked their support for the protest at Gage Park in Topeka.

Organizer Chris Love of Leavenworth said he got the idea for the march after Westboro members picketed actor Heath Ledger's memorial service.

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