Marblehead, Mass. — This proud old seaport, whose sons and daughters have fought in every American war, was grieving for Army Staff Sgt. Christopher Piper. The 43-year-old Green Beret died after his Humvee hit a roadside bomb June 3 in Afghanistan. When word got out that demonstrators from Kansas planned to disrupt Piper's funeral Monday, residents vowed not to let them interfere with the tribute to their hometown hero.As pathetic as it is to picket the funeral of a slain soldier, the Phelpites have helped to convey an important point: people who harass and hate gays are basically willing to harass and hate all kinds of people.
... The 14 demonstrators from Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., picketed Monday on a corner near the Old North Church, a Congregational parish founded in 1635, soon after Marblehead was settled.
The followers of the Rev. Fred Phelps, who blame American tolerance of homosexuality for the Sept. 11 attacks and the resulting U.S. military casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan, have targeted Massachusetts for protests because it is the only state where same-sex marriage is legal.
Shirley Phelps-Roper, a lawyer for the Kansas church, said Monday that the funeral demonstration was nothing personal against Piper, who was not gay."We are protesting the sins of this nation," Phelps-Roper said. "That doesn't exclude him."
The group also has demonstrated at high school and middle school graduations across Massachusetts ...
Monday, July 04, 2005
Unknown | Monday, July 04, 2005 |