PASADENA (CBSLA) — The community of Pasadena, a local high school and fans of Louise Deser Siskel — the openly bisexual 2019 Rose Queen — are rallying to support her against the hate-filled messages of the Westboro Baptist Church.
CBS2’s Adrianna Weingold said the community is countering the church’s hate with messages written on placards, signs and even on the ground — “Love Lives Here.”
Armed with markers and glitter, community members, students from Sequoyah High School and Neighborhood Church came together to support Siskel, one of their own, Siskel is a senior at Sequoyah High School.
“The minute that you stop and reflect and hear that adults are targeting a child a young person for being who she is, for being open, for being honest, for being a leader in her community, really is appalling,” says Luis Sierra Campos of the Neighborhood Church.
The Westboro Baptist Church is known for its inflammatory hate speech. They’re planning a protest outside Sequoyah Monday during morning drop off.
Rev. Lissa Gundlach — alongside her community — is sending a strong message, that love wins.
“To surround the school and the church with a sense of protection of acceptance and welcome,” the Reverend says.
Rev. Gundlach says they won’t be engaging with protestors tomorrow but will be there to protect and support Siskel and other students. Many of whom — like Sarah Hughes — showed up today to support their friend Siskel.
“She’s always there as a friend, as a peer she’s the just the coolest person ever,” Hughes, a junior at Sequoyah., says.
Siskel has the full support of the Tournament of Roses with past queens like 1962 Rose Queen Martha Bell coming to stand up for her by fighting hate with love.
“I think she’s a wonderful Rose Queen, she’s extremely articulate, she’s well-balanced and I believe in her right to be exactly who she is,” Bell says.
Pasadena Police will be on hand tomorrow to make sure there aren’t any problems. The community and the high school plan a counter-protest at the Rose Bowl.