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Westboro Baptist to Picket MRH Play on Homosexuality and Tolerance

The Maplewood Richmond Heights High School theater department is putting on the play, 'The Laramie Project.'

Members of The Westboro Baptist Church, from Topeka, KS, are planning to picket the Maplewood Richmond Heights theater production of The Laramie Project, on Saturday.

The play is about the reaction, in Laramie, WY, to the murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay University of Wyoming student in 1998.

The protest is planned from 1:15 to 2:00 p.m., before the 2:00 p.m. performance on Saturday, Oct. 20. The play’s opening night is Thursday (tonight) at 7:00.

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MRH Director of Communications Brian Adkisson said he was told there would be approximately eight picketers around the south end of Martini Avenue.

“They’ll have signs with very inflammatory slogans,” Adkisson said. “They traditionally will sing. They really kind of stick to themselves because they don’t want to necessarily cause a scene.”

He said he doesn’t know if there will be a counter-protest, but if it happens he hopes it will be peaceful and respectful.

MRH Superintendent Karen Hall, in an email to families today, said the school is working with the Maplewood Police Department to maintain a safe environment.

Members of Westboro Baptist Church protested homosexuality at Clayton High School last February. They have protested against homosexuality nationally, including at the funeral of a reportedly gay U.S. military member.

Read more about the Westboro Baptist protest at Clayton.

  • Westboro Protest: Complete Clayton Coverage
  • Westboro Response Detailed by Clayton High School
  • Replay: Westboro Baptist Church Protests in Clayton and St. Peters
  • Westboro Baptist Church Schedules Clayton High School Protest
  • VIDEO: Westboro Baptist Church Protests at Clayton High School
  • Westboro-Clayton Reactions: 'It Must Be a Hoax'
From my view October 18, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Please know that this church is NOT affiliated with ANY OTHER church, Baptist or otherwise. We are saddened that their name alone incorrectly associates them with other churches. They do NOT represent views and opinions of our congregation. As we are celebrating 120 years of heritage in this community, we are disheartened that their outrageous protests would take place on the same day. Pastor Steve Moseley, Maplewood Baptist Church
Doug Miner October 18, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Thanks for that, Rev. Moseley.
Michele Bequette October 18, 2012 at 06:48 PM
The student body needs to rise up with the peaceful counter protest. Protect their own turf from haters from afar. Blast songs of LOVE over a PA system, carry signs with Bible quotes about loving one another, about forgiveness, signs that say ONE LOVE!... DROWN OUT THE HATRED!
Becca Christensen October 18, 2012 at 08:58 PM
I'm thinking a sign that says "Judge not, lest ye be judged - Matthew 7.1"
Brentwood Student October 18, 2012 at 09:30 PM
I am a student from Brentwood High School and even though I am supposed to hate Maplewood, I will be going to the play to show support. I think it is terrible that a such a hateful group is going to try to ruin all the hard work those students put into their play. I truly hope there will be a PEACEFUL counter-protest. Also, I think its kind of hard to not "necessarily cause a scene" with the signs that the Westboro Baptist Church normally has (God hates Fa**)
Karen Wood October 18, 2012 at 11:22 PM
Thank you Pastor Steve for speaking out against this unbelievably bad behavior from a group that claims to be a Baptist Church
Kristi October 19, 2012 at 01:38 AM
I am a 1988 MRH graduate and was raised going to Maplewood Baptist Church. First let me praise Rev. Moseley for making the distinction between the local church and the one planning a shameful protest. It so happens that I am also a lesbian that has to share the immeasurable pride I feel in knowing that my high school has become so tolerant and open-minded that they are doing a production of The Laramie Project to educate people on the brutality that has come out of ignorance and fear. Living the discrimination personally, it fills my heart to know that my alma mater is clearly sending tolerant young adults out into the world. Bravo! I have no comment about the group choosing to demonstrate. I know Maplewood and all of my friends still there. That group will leave embarrassed for stepping on hallowed ground with that hatred.
Anne Cummings October 19, 2012 at 02:06 AM
Here's info about our silent, peaceful counter protest. Our goal is to the support the MRH High School students. "No Bullies In Our Schoolyard!" https://www.facebook.com/events/396562613750949/396681470405730/?notif_t=event_mall_reply
Jackie Swinnie October 19, 2012 at 04:48 AM
Jackie class of 64 Why can't the protesters find something better to do with their lives???? Such as acts of kindness, Helping the poor or disabled or so many other GOOD causes. The money they spend traveling could be used to help serve the people in their own community. This can't be a Church of God.
Katie Stevenson October 19, 2012 at 12:08 PM
There will be a counter peaceful protest at the school, it starts at 12:30 and ends at 2. There are rules listed on the district website that will need to be followed (http://www.mrhsd.org/) and I encourage everyone to come out a protest with us and see the play that the students and teachers have been working very hard on.
Matt Miofsky October 19, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Thanks Steve. We at The Gathering also want the community to know that we stand against WBC protests and with those who peacefully counter protest. I wrote about this on my fb page http://www.facebook.com/miofsky and @mmiofsky on twitter.
Jan Thompson October 19, 2012 at 07:00 PM
I was raised at MBC and in the M-RH school system. My parents (Louis and Laura Brandt) were very active in both. They would be grateful to Rev. Moseley for his statement and to the alumni and current students and the school district for everything being done to foster tolerance and understanding in the community. And, because they raised me right, I agree.

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