SANTA MONICA (CBSLA.com) — Protesters from a controversial Kansas church staged a protest at a Westside high school Monday.
Members of the controversial Westboro Baptist Church were seen standing across the street from Santa Monica High School holding signs saying, “God Hates Fags” and “Fags Doom Nations” in what the group described on their website as a warning to “this doomed nation for the sin of embracing sodomy.”
KNX 1070′s Jon Baird reports the group was seen protesting outside churches in Malibu as well as the Academy Awards on Sunday.
About 7 or 8 protesters showed up early Monday at the campus located at 601 Pico Blvd, but one member said they could have chosen virtually any school in Southern California.
“The moral compasses of these children have been broken at the hands of their parents, their teachers, and their preachers from the cradle,” Steve Drain said.
According to a statement on the Westboro Baptist website, “every adult in their lives has taught them that they can disobey God and still go to Heaven, that it is OK to be gay, and that God is not cursing this doomed nation for the sin of embracing sodomy.”
Police were also on hand as various counter-protest groups formed in response to the demonstration, which included students and local clergy members.
Maria Leon-Vazquez, vice president of the Santa Monica Unified Board of Education, said some local groups were among those who came out to show their support of students as well as the rights of the protesters.
“Our students understand that everybody has the right to their First Amendment rights, and so be it,” Leon-Vasquez said. “But we, in this particular city, we really understand that their is no room for hatred and bigotry, so the students decided that they had to make their point this morning.”