Counterprotesters overwhelm Westboro Baptist


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — A planned protest by the Westboro Baptist Church against the Portland Trail Blazers organization outside the Moda Center was cut short when counterprotesters overwhelmed them.

The Westboro Baptist Church, best known for protesting at soldiers funerals with virulent anti-gay rhetoric and actions, announced they would protest the Blazers because of their pro-gay marriage stance.

A person with Westboro Baptist Church told KOIN 6 News why they were at the Moda Center. “The Blazers,” he said, “punched Jesus Christ in the face.”

A counterprotester waves goodbye to a member of the Westboro Baptist Church after a failed anti-gay protest outside the Moda Center, Jan. 10, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)

The protest was planned for 75 minutes but so many counter-protesters showed up the members from Westboro Baptist left after less than 20 minutes.

One of the counterprotesters, Chris Ross, said, “We are all about love. Do not come into our city and say that God hates us. He does not.”

Another protester, Scott Ruddock, said he was in the military and experienced the hate of the Westboro Baptist Church first-hand.  “They picketed my friends’ funerals with slander and lies,” he said.

“Everyone needs to respect each other,” Lauren Grant said, “and I don’t understand why a group of people would take time out of their day to hate people.”

As they drove off, the counterprotesters waved goodbye to the members of the Topeka-based Westboro Baptist Church. However, the anti-gay protesters plan a protest at a Gresham church on Sunday.

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