There goes the neighborhood! In a symbolic gesture, a lesbian couple held a wedding ceremony approximately 50 feet away from the front doors of the Westboro Baptist Church, one of the nation's most scathing anti-gay organizations.
Though Westboro members are famous for denouncing homosexuality as well as other "sins"--identified on their website GodHatesFags.com as "fornication, adultery [including divorce and remarriage], sodomy"--the wedding of Kimberly Kidwell and Katie Short went off without a hitch. Other than a display of a few offensive signs on their headquarters, Westboro members largely kept their distance, said Aaron Jackson, one of the founders of Equality House's Planting Peace charity, to the Daily News.
Jackson owns the rainbow-colored "Equality House" in Topeka, Kansas, where Kidwell and Short exchanged vows. He bought the property last year, after Google Earth led him to a "for sale" sign on the house across the street from the church.
Though same-sex marriage is not legal in Kansas, Jackson posted on Facebook that he was looking for a gay couple to have a wedding ceremony at Equality House. Kidwell and Short--who live in Arkansas, where same-sex marriage is illegal as well--thought it was the perfect opportunity.
About 100 guests watched as an ordained Baptist minister (herself a lesbian) united the couple on Saturday night. Since Equality House is a residential property, the law prohibited Westboro members from picketing at the actual wedding. All they could do was put signs in their front yard and watch.
"I knew the signs would be there, and I wasn't even angry about it," said Kidwell to the Huffington Post. "We were just so ecstatic to be getting married."
Watch the couple's wedding video, courtesy of Colin MacMillan: