The sight of anti-gay protesters from the Westboro Baptist Church on Sunday night outside his show at the Topeka Performing Arts Center prompted comedian Tom Segura to pledge a $10,000 donation to the Trevor Project, a group of LGBTQ+ suicide prevention.
Segura announced the donation on Instagram ahead of his show.
Here are seven other times the Westboro Baptist Church protests have backfired.
WBC protesters were unable to picket Star Trek actor Leonard Nimoy’s funeral in 2015 because they couldn’t find him, The Guardian reported. “The church posted an update on Twitter lamenting its inability to picket the event, which it said was due to a lack of publicity at the venue,” this website said.
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LGBTQ+ rights group Driving Equality raised more than $4,600 through a “Phelps-a-Thon” it organized in 2008 as WBC protested a production at the Boston Center for the Arts of the Laramie Project, a play depicting reactions to the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, an openly gay college student from Wyoming. Donors have pledged online to contribute for every minute of WBC’s protest.
Eggs, stones and water bottles
The Associated Press reported that about 1,000 counter-protesters threw eggs, rocks and water bottles in 2006 at WBC members picketing Seaford, Del., funerals. of Marine Cpl. Cory Palmer, who died of injuries sustained in Iraq. Five people have been charged with crimes allegedly involving members of the WBC.
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A human chain
About 200 people in 2016 formed a human chain to block Main Street in downtown Orlando, Florida, and thwart WBC strikers who came to that city after 49 people were killed and 53 others injured in a a gay nightclub by a gunman, whom police later shot to death. More than two dozen police officers stood between the picketers and the rainbow-adorned assembly, The Washington Post reported.
pennies in protest
More than $14,000 was donated in 2010 to a group called Pennies in Protest, which took pledges for every minute WBC members picketed as they protested against Jewish and LBGTQ+ organizations in Richmond, Virginia. The money was then donated to those same organizations, Mother Jones reported. .
You should be dancing
Rock band Foo Fighters publicly mocked members of the WBC as they picketed the venue last August where they were about to perform in Bonner Springs. Dressed in white jumpsuits like their comedic disco alter egos, the Dee Gees, the group rode on a flatbed truck. A video that was later posted to YouTube showed singer Dave Grohl telling picketers they should dance, not hate.
“All kinds are needed”
The Foo Fighters also mocked WBC strikers in September 2011 outside the venue formerly known as Sprint Center, where they were about to play in Kansas City, Mo. A video later posted to YouTube showed the group performing a song containing references to homosexuality in front of picketers on a float pulled by a truck. Midway through the song, Grohl temporarily stopped singing to make a fiery call for tolerance and equality. “All kinds are needed,” he said.
Tim Hrenchir can be reached at [email protected] or 785-213-5934.