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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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stewart resmer February 25, 2013 at 08:06 PM
T.E.A.B.A.G.G.E.R (Totally Enraged About Blacks and Gays Getting Equal Rights)
Arthur Christopher Schaper February 25, 2013 at 09:49 PM
So, one set of hate speech justifies more hate speech? Oy vey, what has become of civil public discourse? Mr. Resmer, why are you engaging in the same rhetoric as the Westboro types? Stop the hate! on both sides of the issue!
Val Streit February 25, 2013 at 10:24 PM
It is really great that the community came out in support of the students is such large numbers and showed that love rules over hate. A job well done Samohi and Santa Monica.
Brenda Barnes February 25, 2013 at 10:24 PM
Awesome, Stewart. I'm stealing that for my Facebook page, OK?
Brenda Barnes February 25, 2013 at 10:26 PM
I was up until 5:30 working on papers due today (all done, on our way to file now). That's why I didn't get to the counter-picketing as I had planned. So happy to see they didn't need me!
stewart resmer February 25, 2013 at 11:37 PM
I cant forgive them, maybe the good Lord can?
Derek Layne February 26, 2013 at 01:17 AM
Stewart - your ignorance is blissful to those like you who have zero tolerance for the truth. You probably are of the belief that it was republicans that were against civil rights, that it was republicans who wanted slavery, that it was republicans who denied blacks to be nominated to its party over 100 years ago. And the fact you spew hatred toward those you perceive are being haters is comical. Only on the left does hypocrisy abound as prevalent as it does. God doesn't hate anyone and He forgives all that ask if its in their heart to seek redemption and not continue to live the same lies and evil deeds. Brenda seems to be the same as you. Using hatred to justify intolerance of hatred. And its you and your bottomless pit of talent on the networks who you agree with. When you guys actually 'get it' on issues facing our country, then please enter the debate. But the hypocrisy, the intolerance, the avoidance of facts, the absence of truth, and the actual lies from the left along with its revisionist historical accounts of events that didn't transpire remotely close to what you claim just warrants not discussing with leftists. Both sides are massively screwed up and 99% should all be replaced but comments like you make are just ludicrous and stifle debate. Arthur - agreed! God bless you all!
steve James February 26, 2013 at 04:54 AM
The teabaggers cant stand the truth. BTW when PR Johnson passed the civil rights bills in 64 he said he said "ive given the south to the repub party for a hundred years. He was right - the worst of the worst xtians in the south -who see Obama as a nightmare come true , took over the south. For them the frosting was Nixons southern strategy in I think 1972 the repub party is a party that much of which hates blacks, and gays. Some, even the leader of first baptist church in dallas (tim tebow affair) hates Jews also. Now the repubs and hteir spim machine - Faux news are essentially patological liars Heres an example - the BS about OBAMA not being an American citizen was two fold One is the obvious citizenship issue the other was tocall attention to his african roots - subliminal messages appealing to the much of the south that is still fighting the civil war
Brenda Barnes February 26, 2013 at 05:19 AM
Derek and Arthur: I've noticed what Republicans have done a lot more recently than Lincoln.
stewart resmer February 26, 2013 at 10:37 AM
oh derek thou doth protest too much...
Derek Layne February 26, 2013 at 02:58 PM
Brenda do tell! And Stewart I thought you were a "Steve" my bad.... And why is the Supreme Court hearing a case about Obama's eligibility and citizenship
Derek Layne February 26, 2013 at 03:22 PM
I am libertarian but mainly due to two things: i love and respect individual freedom (Constitution is easy to read - you should try it) to make choices better to meet their needs than some power hungry group of elected pols 2000 miles away, and 2) economics is common sense and you cant spend more than you make and continue to be strong. But here some good points about repubs over the course of history that most democrats actually believe they achieved first... http://m.townhall.com/columnists/johnhawkins/2013/02/26/20-of-the-greatest-moments-in-the-history-of-the-republican-party-n1520352?utm_source=thdaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nl. Just the real facts ma'am..also it should be acknowledged that lbj knew he couldnt get civil rights passed unless it was crafted and written by who, republicans. Al Gore Sr and willy fulbright jr (clintons self professed hero) filibustered the legislation bc they hated bkacks. Did they turn repub after nixons so called southern strategy? The lamest argumemt for dems to manipulate the minds of blacks. If they took a few minutes to actually learn history rather than be brainwashed by people like you our world would be a vastly different place Saul Alinksy.
Val Streit February 26, 2013 at 03:41 PM
Hate should not breed hate. This is an article about how well the students and community handled WBC's hate toward LGBT people. It might surprise you but anti gay sentiment comes from EVERY political party, religion and ethnicity. It is unfair to single out one group in particular for being anti gay. I know Republicans that are in favor of marriage equality and who are not anti gay. I also know Democrats that are anti gay and open about it. Unless you are a part of the LGBT community it is hard to know who stands with us and who stands against us. :)
Babs February 26, 2013 at 05:49 PM
I love it! Did Margie Phelps and her fellow haters come to enjoy the SoCal sunshine and Hollywood stars? ("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.), and just took a little side trip of hate to harass the students, faculty, staff and parents of Samohi? Now that's planning. I'll have to remember that when I go visit someone else's home, I'll pack a large suitcase of intolerance, a travel size container of vitriol, baggies of prejudice, and mostly, an endless amount of hate. Republicans, Libertarians, Democrats, I don't care what your party affiliation is as long as it does not denigrate and try to destroy the life of another. Go Vikings Go!
Bruce Campbell February 26, 2013 at 06:46 PM
Good Republicans: 1. Lincoln 2. Claudine Schneider 3. Pete McCloskey That is the whole exhaustive list. That pathetic party should get about 1% of the vote -- since they work for the interests of 1% of the population (though not even for their long-term biological interest. Pleeeeease, fleeee the GOP !!!
Derek Layne February 26, 2013 at 07:48 PM
Val - I agree with you. A good friend of mine is gay and is staunch republican. He can't stand how the liberal media and the democratic party tried to claim a monopoly on gay rights and inclusion. If govt was NOT involved in marriage at all, the only reason they are is for money (marriage licenses and taxes) then we wouldn't have to be at any type of disagreement for it. If two gay people want to marry they should be allowed to...God, regardless of your religion or theology, will be the ultimate judge, if one believes in God. What's amazing is most gay people I know do believe in God. Some of the 'anti-protesters' had signs that said "God hates people who say they know who God hates". This is fighting hatred with hatred and intolerance with intolerance. None of us know exactly how God feels about any topic (other than children). So why does one party or the other always claim to know what God thinks? And when it comes to things like Obamacare why do democrats always ask "What would Jesus say" when in fact Jesus had an apostle who was a doctor and I can't find anywhere we He forcefully made Luke care for people. So how does a democrat know that Jesus would force one person to pay for the healthcare of another? This is off topic but it bleeds into the entire narrative we are witness to now.
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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