Westboro Protests at University of Central Florida
More than one hundred people showed up in front of the UCF Arena July 15 to counter-protest a visit from the Topeka-based hate group, Westboro Baptist Church.
The controversial anti-gay group made a brief stop at UCF after picketing the NAACP national convention earlier in the morning near Sea World.
At around 9:30am, six Westboro picketers arrived in front of the arena sporting their notorious anti-gay signage.
The small group, which included three children, was quickly surrounded by a crowd of mostly UCF students. The counter-protesters came decked out with signs, rainbows and their own posters challenging Westboro's message of hate.
Poster slogans included "God Hates Fangs," "A Life of Hate Creates Its Own Hell" and "Honk for Westboro to Go Home." Some were humorous, others more serious.
Westboro had announced earlier this month through a press release that they planned to picket at UCF from 9:15-9:45am at one of the campus' free speech zones. Students used social media to organize the counter-protest.
The Westboro picketers arrived about fifteen minutes late, which left some initially thinking the group might not show up. Campus police and administrators were on hand to maintain the peace.