Westboro Baptist Church skips "Laramie Project" protest in Hastings

Not in Hastings.

Not in Hastings.

The "God hates fags" people from Topeka's Westboro Baptist Church failed to show for a production of "The Laramie Project" at Hastings High School over the weekend.

Maybe the haters seen cruising town in their van with Kansas plates took a look at the hundreds of counter-protesters and figured there were better things to do on a warm winter's day in Minnesota.


"The Laramie Project" is a dramatization about the life and 1998 beating death of gay man Matthew Shepard in rural Wyoming, produced as a way to promote a better understanding of LGBT folk. It was chosen as the school's winter play.

Westboro is a tiny church composed of preacher Fred Phelps, his family, and friends. What it lacks in numbers it makes up for in anti-gay sermons, pickets, and speeches. The church protested Shepherd's funeral, and has become obsessed with the play. When it found out Hastings High School was staging a production, it issued a press release about a planned protest on Saturday.

Along with a stop in Hastings, the Westboro crew issued seething statements saying it planned to protest the play this past weekend in Milwaukee, Fargo, Wheeling, W. Va., and Orlando, Fla.
God Hates Fags! God Hates Fag-Enablers! Ergo, God hates fag-infested & fag- enabling doomed america and all having to do with spreading sodomite lies via The Laramie Project - a tacky piece of cheap, lying, fag propaganda masquerading as legitimate theater.

Those are big words, but the protesters never showed up in Hastings. As a result, hundreds of counter-protesters found themselves standing outside the high school, waving signs at passing motorists--but not at members of Westboro Baptist Church.

Inside the school, the show went on as scheduled.