TOPEKA, KS - The Phelps Family, leaders of the Westboro Baptist Church, known for their anti-war and anti-homosexual protests, faced protesters against them Sunday.
Nearly 500 people from all over the nation traveled to Topeka to spread their message of diversity and acceptance of all people regardless of their sexual orientation. A message directed toward the Westboro Baptist Church and its leader Fred Phelps.
Those that gathered say they want to send a clear message to Fred Phelps that it's time to stop the hateful messages.
The Phelps family and Westboro Baptist Church members do not believe it's hate that they preach.
"They only say that because they haven't cracked open the Bible and read. God is about the most intolerent guy you can think of. You talk about the guy who is the head of discrimination a guy who lays down the most boundaries and standards, this is his creation. These people need to create their own world..get their own God. For 17 long years we have stood on the streets of doomed America. Everyone of these people gets to be a witness we have saturated this nation..this small church in Topeka, Kansas," says Shirley Phelps, Attorney for the Westboro Baptist Church and member.
Protester JD Stottlemaire says, "I'm from Topeka and many years ago the Phelps said to me you'll be gone some day and I'll still be here. I'm still here Phelps let's keep going another lap. I feel bad for the Phelps they carried a sign that said the seige is coming, very self destructive, my hopes would be that that family gets away from that ill man. We all have permission to to use our voice. 418 individuals showed up, homosexuals, heterosexuals, pro-war..Topeka is really starting to have a voice besides Fred's voice. Couldn't be gladder to be here."
Protester Joseph Coachman says, I'm here to add my presence as a physical voice. Fred does not speak for the Christian faith and that there are many Christian people that are open and accepting. The root of the gospel is not hate."
Shirley Phelps says, "the way I feel about the march, I just love it because its a fresh fruit different kind of approach by those that oppose us."
The protesters hope their message of love and equality spreads to others.