A peaceful rally against the Westboro Baptist Church.
Saturday, April 27, 2013
Bring signs, friends, and a positive attitude.
What is the MFM?
The Million "Fag" March is an annual event held at Gage Park in Topeka, KS near the Westboro Baptist Church. The March is designed to protest the antics of the Phelps family and their church, who have become a symbol for the homophobia that remains throughout the United States.
The goal of the MFM is to turn the tables, using the very same rights and laws the members of the WBC use to shield themselves. However, the March sends out an opposing message of peace and acceptance for all people. We believe that ignoring a problem will not make it go away, and that we must take advantage of the rights our country gives us to speak up when we see wrong-doing in our communities, cities, and country.
Each year brings hundreds of people. The crowd is an extremely diverse mix of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious (or non-religious) affilliation, and political viewpoint that has drawn national attention. As we stress the use of peaceful and lawful demonstration, we are able to hold a meaningful event without any negative incident. In fact, the March tends to be as much about fun and friendship as it is about the WBC. One might even call the MFM "family friendly."
This year's MFM promises to raise the bar with more people and a message that goes beyond the WBC.
What is the Westboro Baptist Church?
The Westboro Baptist Church, of Topeka, Kansas, is a hate group masquerading as a Christian church. Led by the Rev. Fred Phelps, the misguided members of this church target homosexuals and a range of others with messages of hate. The church's outrageous protest actions - the group prefers to picket funerals, schools, and other churches - have earned Phelps and his ilk much media coverage.
The group also produces music videos (at least one features an extremely young child singing "God hates the world") and maintains Websites with names like GodHatesAmerica and GodHatesFags, designed to inflame the passions of viewers and generate further publicity.
To date, the WBC's protests have taken place in at least 22 states, and have inspired a wave of grassroots anger. As a result, 38 states have introduced bills to limit protests near funerals, and at least 29 of those states have passed such measures. The family has vowed to challenge the legislation, alleging that these new restrictions unconstitutionally restrict freedom of speech.
Now it's our turn. Let's gather together to (peacefully) show Phelps and his church that freedom of speech works both ways.
Why do you use the F-word?
Do a few seconds of research on the Westboro church (don't worry, we'll wait). You'll quickly find that if you aren't a member of the WBC you'll be lumped into one of two categories -- "fag" or "fag-enabler". The word is prevelant in everything they do.
Our goal is not to "take the word back," but to render the word useless as far as the WBC is concerned. To show that by the WBC's definition, we're all "fags", and if that makes us different from them then we'll gladly embrace it.
That's why we often use quotes around the word. We're quoting the WBC.
Admittedly, the name of the Million "Fag" March is controversial. But sometimes it takes a little controversy to get the attention you need. But if it helps, there also aren't a million of us, and the marching is minimal... the entire title is tongue-in-cheek.
Please join us on April 27 at 2pm in Gage Park. Bring signs, friends, and a positive attitude.