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Hate Group is schedululed to picket Gunn High School Friday

Original post made by Julie Hurst, Gunn High School, on Jan 25, 2010

The Westboro Baptist Church is scheduled to picket Gunn High School this Friday, 1/29/2010 , from 7:25 a.m. until 7:55 a.m. The hateful website says it all:
Noreen Likins, please pay attention.

Comments (28)

Posted by ..
a resident of Gunn High School
on Jan 25, 2010 at 4:21 am

ok this is sickening why picket our school and the site link is kind of offencive there no real point in picketting anything and it will distract the students students will arrive at school arround 7:25 and 7:55 this is just wrong

Posted by Adivse
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jan 25, 2010 at 5:38 am

Walk by as if they don't exist.

It is the best thing to do.

Do not escalate this.

This is the USA where freedom to congregate and freedom to say what opinion you wish is virtually sacred, and if we censor any we start censoring all.

But, we can extinguish the power of the words by ignoring them, like withholding Oxygen from a fire extinguishes it.

Posted by proposition 8
a resident of Gunn High School
on Jan 25, 2010 at 7:46 am

If we don't stand up to these hate groups now, they will gain power and start destroying our civil rights.

Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 25, 2010 at 8:12 am

Fred Phelps is crazy and he has a tiny group of nutcases following him.

They believe that Bush organized the 911 attack, they desecrated US Military funerals until we blocked them.

They preach hatred towards Catholics, Mormons, Jews, Gays, the Irish etc and appeared once the Howard Stern Show, a suitable freak show for them.

They are claiming 20 or so rallies in the Bay Area next week for 10 minutes each---- they will never happen --

--it is all hype and a scam.

Ignore them, they are below contempt.

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 25, 2010 at 9:28 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

These people make money by suing entities for violating their rights, so don't play their games. Counter demonstrations are their bread and butter.

Posted by The Real Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 25, 2010 at 12:00 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by proposition 8
a resident of Gunn High School
on Jan 25, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Remember that these hate groups did force the Proposition 8 anti-civil-rights law on California. Some of their spokesmen are wackier than others, but that does not mean they are not extremely powerful.

Posted by Bill Kelly
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 25, 2010 at 9:46 pm

The Westboro Baptist Church is a very small hate group, mostly consisting of the Phelps family. Most are trained lawyers who have mastered the art of hate speech and hate protests. They depend of suing either the counter protesters or the city that abridged their rights of hate speech. They are in the Bay area to protest Gays and Jews. Gunn High school has an excellent Gay Straight Alliance, and a heathy jewish population. They are expert in hate taunts. see

Some effective counter protest methods have been performed in Lexington Mass where 400 students protested in silence. Other methods were more humorous, like pointing out that many things found in the bible like shellfish are an abomination. A group dressed as Pirates in arizona had an effective counter protest by having some people dressed as shrimp walk the plank, while holding up God Hates Shrimp signs. Other signs like 'God Hates Signs'.

While I think counter protesting supports this vile group, I am afraid of the fragility of the young adults at Gunn and I'm concerned that we show the young people that we support them and we are not afraid of hate.

This kind of group is what tests my support of the 1st amendment.

On a positive note, one counter protest is easy, donate money to organizations which are diametically opposed to the hate message. www.phelps-a-thon,com raises money for groups which Fred Phelps would probably vomit if he knew he helped.

Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 25, 2010 at 9:58 pm

I agree ignore them, they are crazy and trivial

But what do you suggest about dealing with this

on PAonline

the Dalia Lama who preaches peace faces thisWeb Link

Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 25, 2010 at 10:09 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Hold on there, 8
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jan 26, 2010 at 5:13 am

To Prop 8, do not confuse this guy and his wackos with those of us who do not support changing the traditional definition of marriage.

It would be like saying all socialists are Nazis who want to cleanse the human race ( since NAZI stood for the National Socialist Party in Germany, and you-know-who led them, and did what he did).

So, don't let a small nutcase group led by a small nutcase man disturb you too much, and certainly don't let it cause you to broadly generalize to all who disagree with you.

Posted by proposition 8
a resident of Gunn High School
on Jan 26, 2010 at 8:00 am

I've read some of the material from Rev. Phelps and also from some of the people defending Proposition 8 at the Federal trial. Their arguments sound pretty similar to me. Rev. Phelps is just more vocal and not afraid to show his face.

Posted by Gunn Parent
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jan 26, 2010 at 11:15 am

I'm sad that our students will have to know of people like this. On the other hand, I agree that their being honest is admirable. Pretending to be just a nice guy while working to deprive people of their rights, and doing so in secret lest they object is much more insidious and disagreeable. So much hatred is handed out under the guise of 'protecting traditional marriage'.

Posted by Paly Parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jan 26, 2010 at 11:32 am

Gunn Praent from South of Midtown

Please do not turn this into another prop 8 issue assuming that those who support prop 8 are full of hatred.

This is not about supporting or defending prop 8. This is about supporting our students against someone who is seeking publicity for himself. I hope that we can all agree, regardless of whether we support prop 8 or not, that this Phelps guy and his cronies are not wanted here and we do not want to hear his message of hatred.

We may not be united about prop 8, but I think we can all be united against this particular message of hate.

Posted by proposition 8
a resident of Gunn High School
on Jan 26, 2010 at 12:24 pm

I think Rev. Phelps is just a tool of mainstream bigots, including the Proposition 8 people. Many of the Proposition 8 people are not willing to show their faces on TV, so they just get Rev. Phelps to do their dirty work for them.

Posted by Gunn Parent
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jan 26, 2010 at 3:35 pm

Paly Parent, That's what it is. Bigotry and hatred are what they are, no matter in what disguise we find them. I'd love for us all to be united against that.

Posted by Paly Parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jan 26, 2010 at 4:21 pm

Gunn Parent. I ask you to be not so hateful against those who disagree with you. Your comments are just as bad as this Phelps guy. Your hatred is not a good lesson for our kids.

I think we are all united in getting Phelps away from Gunn regardless of our views on prop 8. What he is doing is wrong from everybody's perspective apart from his own.

If you look for the bad in people you will find it. If you look for good in people you will probably find that too. I advise you to look for the good in those who may disagree with you on prop 8 but nonetheless agree wholeheartedly with you in protecting the teens of this community from Phelps. The majority of prop 8 supporters don't hate, but a few misguided extremists may claims to.

Just because someone disagrees with you on any issue, it does not mean they hate you.

Posted by Gunn Parent
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jan 26, 2010 at 4:53 pm

Actually Paly Parent, as I said above, I'm against hatred. I don't hate those who disagree with me. But I won't join them in pretending to protect marriage when what they are actually doing is bullying people who are all of our equals. Sorry this is a problem for you but I wish you all the best

Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 26, 2010 at 5:05 pm

Paly Parent,

How are Gunn Parent's comments as bad as Phelps? You don't like being grouped with Phelps though you both oppose gay marriage--correct? Gunn Parent disagrees with your views.

It seems to me both have you were disagreeing--strongly--but in no way does "you're just as bad" seem merited here.

That said, I know a teenager who came out not long ago and it really brought home to me how cruel the anti-gay marriage stance seems to gays, lesbians and their relatives. More cruel than the pro-8 folks realize, I think.

Posted by Kevin
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 26, 2010 at 5:27 pm

There is no civil right to marry in California, other than between one adult man and one adult woman. The California State Consitution enforces this notion. There is a monority of people who disagree with this fact, but that does not give them a right to supporess free speech, or to become hate mongers, themselves.

This guy from Kansas is full of hate, for the sake of hate. If it was not gays, it would be something else. Don't homor him buy getting in his face. But don't call people who supported Prop 8 bigots, unless you also want to label people who oppose polygamy and incest as bigots.

Posted by Paly parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jan 26, 2010 at 5:28 pm


I usually agree and support what you say.

This time you are supporting someone who is apparently saying that everyone who supports prop 8 is as bad as this Phelps guy and is a bigot and full of hatred and this type of hatred can't be tolerated.

Forgive me if I have misunderstood, but the fact is that that statement appears to lump all prop 8 supporters together and this is far from the case. People can support prop 8 and support the gay community (yes support the gay community from this man) and do not need to be called "hateful bigots" or bullying, or insidious, or silent anything. If I have misunderstood the writers' above, I apologise.

I do not want this guy in Palo Alto at any of our schools. I don't like his message and I don't like his hatred. I will tell my children that they can make up their own minds on this subject but that I don't like the way this guy goes about getting his message across and I don't agree with his message either. But, I will not teach my children that hating those that hate others is the right way to go about it.

I don't want to turn this into another prop 8 argument. It isn't. It is about protecting students from what is a hateful protest. I have said my piece.

Posted by Gunn Parent
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jan 26, 2010 at 5:49 pm

The civil right being denied in prop 8 is actually guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution. See the 14th amendment. The below quote is from the Wikipedia entry on that. It's very clear. If you deny this under the pretense of protecting marriage, or because a number of your fellow citizens have the same views is still going against the U.S. constitution by denying civil rights to their fellow citizens. I appreciate the honesty of those threatening to demonstrate near Gunn on Friday, even though I so disagree with them. Those who are less straightforward do more harm.

"The amendment's Equal Protection Clause requires states to provide equal protection under the law to all people within their jurisdictions."

Posted by Kevin
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 26, 2010 at 6:04 pm

"equal protection under the law "

Gunn Parent,

As long as the law is found to be constituional, then all citizens are obliged to follow the law. I fail to see your point, viz a viz Prop 8. There is no constitutional right, either in the U.S. Constitution or the California Constitution for plural or gay or incestual or any other marriage except that between one adult man and one adult woman.

Could you please advise us all as to why gay marriage is constitutional, absent an amendment that makes it so?

Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 26, 2010 at 6:16 pm

It does not help us as a community to try and link the crazy Phelps to our political agendas-- pro or against Prop 8-- in fact it is very destructive and plays into the crazy Phelps hands.

So lets call a moratorium on the Topic of Prop 8 until next week.

The crazy Phelps always arrives with a selection of posters, anti- Catholic, anti- Mormon, anti- Jew, anti- Gay, anti- Bush, anti- fallen US Warriors etc

He selects which posters to use a the time to attempt to provoke the most, he wants to get a reaction so that he can sue.

It is all about money for his gang.

While crazy Phelps is a disbarred attorney the vast majority of the rest of his gang are attorneys and the are on look out to sue.

What would the Dalai Lama about crazy Phelps?

Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 26, 2010 at 6:37 pm

I meant " What would the Dalai Lama do and say about crazy Phelps?"

He has dealt with hatred before---

Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 27, 2010 at 12:27 pm

Would be pretty funny if a couple of semi tractor trailers just happen to breakdown right in front of the protest zone across from Gunn...

Posted by Paly Parent
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 27, 2010 at 12:50 pm

Paly Parent,

I don't think Gunn parent should have been lumped with Phelps--so, what's happening here is that the rhetoric here is getting more heated than I wish it were.

I think there's a split in perception on the two sides--the gay community felt invalidated by the passage of Prop. 8 in a way that felt very cruel to them--though I don't think that was the intent of all Prop. 8 supporters. Many of them felt they were supporting an important tradition. How could it be bigotry to keep things as they were?

There's a big chasm of perception here. It was not an issue, frankly, that I had strong emotions about until a teen I care about came out--and I realized just how much I cared what his future would be like for him. How much I hoped that he would have a long-term stable relationship. He doesn't have to be married to have that, but that recognition would help with that kind of commitment.

It really just brought the issue home to me a particular way--this kid is so young, so vulnerable.

Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 27, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Oops, sorry about that--that last post is by me, OhlonePar and addressed to Paly Parent.

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