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Police to Monitor Westboro Anti-Gay Protest in Cranston

Cranston Mayor Allan W. Fung said he's "personally disturbed" by the church, but they have a right to protest.

A Westboro Baptist Church member protests in Manhattan, Kansas. (Photo: Westboro Baptist Church)
A Westboro Baptist Church member protests in Manhattan, Kansas. (Photo: Westboro Baptist Church)
Cranston Mayor Allan W. Fung has weighed in on the planned Thursday morning protest by members of Westboro Baptist Church in Cranston, saying he's "personally disturbed by the messages and tactics" of the church, but "must remind people that it is that organization's constitutionally protected right to free speech."

Church members said the protest is against Rhode Island's recently-passed gay marriage law and is planned to take place at Cranston City Hall at 869 Park Ave. at 8 a.m. The Cranston Police department will be at the scene to monitor the situation for any safety issues and "keep the peace if needed," Fung said.

"I encourage all parties involved to be respectful and to carry out their protests in a peaceful manner.”

It is likely that many Cranstonians and other area residents will be on hand to stage a counter-protest.

"These people are a total discrace to the Baptist religion," said Tiffany Frank-Lasalle on our Facebook page.

"What makes them think, we agree with their life or ways of worship?" asked Paula McFarland. "But do I go to their church and bring my signs to their door step? No, so my advice to them: stay home or you may not like what Cranston residents throw back at your glass house of worship!!"

Although the church has been known to not show up for planned protests, there are signs that they will follow through. Earlier on Twitter, the church tweeted pictures of their trademark "God Hates Fags" sign to the Twitter account run by Marriage Equality RI. 

"We coming to c u 8/1/13," the church tweeted.

Do you plan on attending the protest? Let us know.
Nancy Green July 29, 2013 at 05:47 PM
I have to work that day, but after reading an inside account of life in the cult, 'Banished' by Lauren Drain, I know that the only fun they're allowed to have is waving those signs. Maybe some of the young ones will glimpse the delights of living free in Cranston and make a run for it.
nicole fine July 29, 2013 at 05:57 PM
What is so specific about that date and time to them? Also, since City Hall abuts 2 school buildings, if they cross the boundary lines can the police arrest them for protesting on school property? Then again, I do NOT want ONE single tax dollar going to keep them in our jails!!
Bill Santagata July 29, 2013 at 06:39 PM
Don't even counter-protest these losers. Don't give them any attention. There is no need to counter their speech because no one outside of their group agrees with them anyway. When they stop receiving all this attention they'll shrivel up and go away. Also, note that many of them are lawyers (and quite accomplished ones). If you assault them, they will sue you for civil damages (pain and suffering and whatnot). This is how they make their money. Just leave them alone.
Paul July 29, 2013 at 10:07 PM
Bill's right. Ignore these evil doers, and they can crawl back out the hole they slivered out of.
Jim July 31, 2013 at 12:00 AM
Nicole, I assume that they are coming then because I believe that Thursday morning will be the first time that same-sex couples will be allowed marriage licenses. Bill and Paul are probably right about ignoring them but a part of me feels like I should be there. Maybe it is just morbid curiousity on my part. I find it almost impossible to believe they even exist... such hatred and un-Christian actions. They are like a strange oxymoron. As is often said, What Would Jesus Do?
Capo Tony July 31, 2013 at 03:09 PM
As government official Fung needs to keep his mouth shut about these matters of religious doctrine. You dumb Rhode Islanders never heard of the seperation of Church and State.
Paul July 31, 2013 at 03:18 PM
Tony, Mayor Fung is correct to comment on this activity. This activity is political, not religious. Also, as you probably know, Rhode Islanders INVENTED separation of Church and State.
Mark Wyman July 31, 2013 at 11:40 PM
Like it or not this is the mainline Christian view the only difference between Westboro Baptist and all the other Christian churches is Westboro is not afraid to say in public what the other churches are saying in the privacy of their church. Westboro does not give Christians a bad name the close mindedness of the Christian faith does that. You condem the actions of Westboro but their message is no different the the statments the Bishop of Providence made before the law was passed.
Nancy Green August 01, 2013 at 06:40 AM
Capo Tony, I saw Mayor Fung speak to an angry crowd on the issue of Harrington Hall and he was a voice of reason and a calm presence. He's already acknowledged the First Amendment rights that we all have, religious or not. And to all of you who disrespect us non-religious I say this-- may you have missionaries on your doorstep day and night, and the Avon Lady too.
Joe The Plumber August 01, 2013 at 03:11 PM
Is there a full moon?


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