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Photos: Hundreds at Samohi Unite Against Anti-Gay Protest

Students, alumni, local church leaders and faculty line Pico Boulevard in colorful and peaceful counter-protest to a handful of Westboro Baptist Church picketers.

Some 400 students and their supporters, some waving big rainbow flags and feisty signs, such as, "God hates sexually repressed hillbillies," overwhelmingly outnumbered the handful of Westboro Baptist Church members who picketed Santa Monica High School Monday morning to spread an anti-gay message.

The six picketers from Westboro Baptist Church, a fundamentalist group known for protesting military funerals, stood on the opposite side of Pico Boulevard with American flags and strongly worded posters of their own: "Fags doom nations" and "God hates fag enablers."

Though colorful, the picket and the response it drew from the Samohi community were peaceful. About 25 Santa Monica Police officers patrolled the street and neighborhoods near the high school campus.

Westboro has said it wanted to tell students "the Gospel truth," that "every adult in their lives has taught them that they can disobey God... that it is OK to be gay." Westboro says it opposes "the homosexual lifestyle of soul-damning, nation-destroying filth."

Freshman Gigi Lewis said she didn't want to miss the school's response to the picket, and though she expected a big turn-out, was surprised by the throng of counter-protesters. Among them were a group of students from New Roads School.

"I didn't think they would line all of Pico Boulevard," Lewis said.

The protests culminated with resounding cheers from the Samohi students when the six Westboro members retreated about 45 minutes into their picket.

"We made the trip primarily for the Oscars," Margie Phelps of Topeka, KS, the oldest daughter of Pastor Fred Phelps, said while picketing this weekend at Malibu churches.

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Derek Layne February 26, 2013 at 10:01 PM
Bruce - if you combine your intellect with Pelosi, Reid and Biden then go and buy a first class stamp I think you can ante up and have enough to buy a banana at the 7-11 on Wilshire & 7th. You must subscribe to the 'msnbc and facebook tell me what my liberal talking points are AGAIN today.' You can't be that idiotic to make the comment you just did. Debating you in an open forum just wouldn't be fair...your friends and family would likely begin to feel bad for you and throw in the towel ushering you off stage. Laughable!
Val Streit February 26, 2013 at 10:56 PM
An article has been circulating today about Over 75 prominent Republicans — including top advisers to former President George W. Bush, four former governors and two members of Congress — have signed a legal brief arguing that gay and lesbian have a constitutional right to marry. This all has to do with DOMA and Prop 8 coming up in March. While some people chastise them for changing their stance on marriage equality, it should be looked upon as them gaining more understanding of LGBT relationships. We are no different in our relationships and commitments.
Arthur Christopher Schaper February 26, 2013 at 11:00 PM
I do not believe in "marriage equality" -- that is not a statement born of bigotry, but a statement born of truth, tradition, and trust that the coupling of one man and one woman is the true "progressive" stance. Before that, people engaged in all kinds of sexual arrangements, with diverse and deleterious consequences. Indeed, marriage should have remained a private matter. The government should never have gotten involved in marriage in the first place.
Arthur Christopher Schaper February 26, 2013 at 11:03 PM
For those who are interested in the truth about blacks and the GOP, please visit: http://www.thefrontpageonline.com/articles1-12410/GOPHistoryIsRepleteWithSupportofBlackIdeals I am tired of Democratic leaders distorting the true story.
Val Streit February 27, 2013 at 09:12 PM
Arthur...While you might not believe in marriage equality the fact is that everyone is equal and deserves the same rights. The tide is changing as that was shown in the election. Someones rights should not be put up to public vote. It has nothing to do with religion or the Bible and everything to do with life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I have been legally married in California for going on 5 years (together for 12 years) now and I would like to know how my marriage to my wife has impacted your life? If you consider that gay relationships are just "sexual arrangements" you are way off base.

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