This Thursday, Fred Phelps and members of his Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church are bringing their message of hate to three high schools, a seminary, a synagogue and four colleges and universities in Spokane & Cheney, Washington and Coeur a’Alene, Idaho.  The Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane (PJALS) and the Inland Northwest LGBT Center are planning a peaceful reception for Westboro called Caravan of Love.

At this time of heightened awareness of the issue of bullying, it is more important than ever that we stand up to those who preach a message of hate. Through these peaceful respectful gatherings we will show that love and support of diversity are the values of our communities.

In support of the Caravan of Love campaign, Equal Rights Washington launched “A little surprise for Fred Phelps & Westboro Baptist Church to “welcome” them to Washington!”, a joint fundraising campaign with PJALS, the LGBT Center in Spokane and the Safe Schools Coalition.  Less than 24 hours since the launch and ERW tells me that over 75 people have already taken action and donated.  Ya think it’s safe to say that the people of the Inland Northwest don’t want Kansas cults bringing their bullying into the area but are quite prepared to use such events to benefit the LGBT community?  Thank you Fred – we couldn’t have done it without you!    Check out the Thank You card after the flip.

Dear Supporter,

On Thursday, Fred Phelps and members of Topeka, KS – based Westboro Baptist Church are bringing their message of hate to a high school, a seminary, a synagogue and three universities in Spokane and Cheney.  This group is known for dispensing hate-filled messages against the LGBT community, the Jewish community, and protesting at military funerals.

Let’s stand together and turn this Phelps bullyfest on it’s ear.  Make a donation of $10 or more to help us pass needed safe-schools and anti-bullying legislation and we’ll send Phelps a thank you card on your behalf! (example at right, if you can’t view it, take my word it makes the point that his visit to Washington strengthens our resolve!) A portion of your donation will be forwarded to PJALS, the LGBT Center in Spokane and to the Safe Schools Coalition.

Together in Washington we’ve made rapid progress in securing LGBT civil rights, from hate crimes and antidiscrimination laws to the establishment of domestic partnerships. And next session we intend to move forward on another safe shools bill sponsored by Rep. Marko Liias.  

Let’s show Fred Phelps that the more he brings in out of state hate-mongers to Washington, the harder we will work to protect our youth and students.  Imagine the joy on his face when he receives our card thanking him for reminding pro-equality supporters like you what is at stake in Washington!

We have a tough fight ahead to retain our pro-equality majority and through them our rights – and to continue moving forward on our issues, we need your help!  Make a donation of $10 or more to help us pass needed safe-schools and anti-bullying legislation and we’ll send Phelps a thank you card on your behalf!

Below is just one the crazy things that Phelps is saying about his protest targets in Spokane and Cheney.  Come November, let’s be sure the joke is on him.

“These college students spend more time pursuing their drunken sins than their academic studies. Their professors happily teach them the ubiquitous lie that “it’s OK to be gay” and its just fine to flip off God and mock His servants.” –Westboro Baptist Church

Sincerely,

Josh Friedes

Executive Director

Equal Rights Washington

P.S.  For information and resources about bullying in Washington’s schools, check out our Safe Schools/Healthy Youth page.  Find out about the Caravan of Love counter-protest of Westboro Baptist here.