After tires slashed, Oklahoma townsfolk refuse to help ‘God Hates Fags’ protesters
About a half-dozen members of the Westboro Baptist Church traveled to McAlester, Oklahoma Saturday to picket Army Sgt. Jason James McCluskey’s funeral.
Following the protest, the group returned to their minivan to find that the front and rear tires on the passenger side of the vehicle had been slashed.
“To make matters worse, as their minivan slowly hobbled away on two flat tires, with a McAlester police car following behind, the protesters were unable to find anyone in town who would repair their vehicle, according to police,” Tulsa World reported.
In the end, the AAA motor club was called and the minivan was eventually loaded on to a flatbed truck.
Assistant Police Chief Darrell Miller told Tulsa World‘s Manny Gamallo that the vehicle was taken to Walmart for replacement tires.
But even during the protest, things did not go smoothly for the anti-gay church members. By Miller’s estimation, the church members faced a counter protest of nearly 1000 people.
“[T]hey faced off with a massive crowd of jeering and taunting counterprotesters at Third Street and Washington Avenue, two blocks from the First Baptist Church, where the soldier’s funeral was held,” Gamallo wrote.
The Westboro members were afforded the protection of more than two dozen police. “We’re here to protect everyone,” Miller said.
The church members say that because the US tolerates homosexuality, “God hates America.” They frequently hold signs saying “God hates fags” and “Thank God for IEDs.”
Westboro Baptist Church claims to have participated in 41,000 protests since 1991.