Fred hates Beaverton's Southridge High
BEAVERTON — Members of a Topeka, Kan., church say they plan to picket Southridge High School on Friday to draw attention to the controversial play “The Laramie Project.”
Southridge Principal Amy Gordon this month canceled the play, which chronicles the 1998 murder of gay college student Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyo.
But the Rev. Fred Phelps, pastor of Westboro Baptist Church, said Wednesday that he will protest any effort to reconsider staging the play at the school.
The church, known for threatening protests but not carrying them out, has launched a nationwide campaign against “The Laramie Project.”
Phelps said he thinks pressure from gay rights activists will persuade Gordon to eventually stage the play, leading him to pre-emptively oppose the production.
“In our experience with schools for the past 15 years, they’ll put pressure on her until she caves,” said Phelps from his Topeka home. “I feel sorry for Amy Gordon, really, what she’s going to go through.”
Phelps said he expects a dozen protestors from his church to arrive at the school at about 2:15 p.m. Friday for a 45-minute protest.
Gordon stopped a fall production of the play, citing profanities and sexual content. The principal said she will create a committee of teachers, students and parents to review the play before making a final decision.
I haven’t found news reports of the protest yet, but KGW promised a report on their 10PM newscast. A brief clip on the promo showed at least three of the neanderthals at the protest. Your intrepid blogger will post more details when available.
UPDATE: Not much more to report on the demonstration. It looks like Phelps’ daughter was running the show, and there were about a dozen protesters standing in our first heavy rain of the year. The high school kids stood across the street and yelled back toward the demonstrators, some of those demonstrators being kids looking as young as ten.
KGW interviewed Phelps’ daughter, and she gave her typical speech (“Matthew Shepard is in hell, and hell awaits for anyone who emulates him, yada yada yada.”) It was nice to see them interview some of the high school kids, all of whom thought the demonstrators were sick, especially for instilling this kind of hatred into their children. Good for them.