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Indiana Daily Student

Westboro Bapist Church backs down to LGBT supporters

<p>A member of the&nbsp;Westboro Baptist Church sings on the corner outside a Philadelphia LGBT health center on Tuesday afternoon, while police and a single counter protestor stand nearby.</p>

A member of the Westboro Baptist Church sings on the corner outside a Philadelphia LGBT health center on Tuesday afternoon, while police and a single counter protestor stand nearby.

PHILADEPLHIA — Love won, objectively.

To counter a Westboro Baptist Church protest, approximately 500 LGBT supporters lined an entire city block in front of the Mazzoni Health Center.

Although they planned the protest, the Westboro Bapist Church members arrived about a half hour later than originally planned. Their small army of about five to six protesters was met with a “Wall of Love.”

Philadelphia police allowed LGBT counter-protesters to continue as long as they did not block traffic on Locust Street between Eighth and Ninth streets.

The crowd peacefully stood its ground. Many supporters handed out flowers and a five to six person band played across the street. The counter-protesters sang a full set list of Beatles songs including “Hey Jude” and “Imagine.” A block away, the Westboro Bapist Church sang renditions of pop songs with changed lyrics to reflect the danger of sin.

After about a half hour, the more vocal crowd surrounding the Westboro Baptist Church wore down the members with chants like “Fascists go home.” The protesters, who were surrounded by a police bike barricade, backed away from the corner and walked down the opposite side street.

Protesters with megaphones followed and demanded they leave the city entirely. Both police and media followed them, attracting the attention of several local store owners and customers who took video on their phones.

Eventually, the small clan from Westboro left in their BMW.

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