Mark Patro, president of PFLAG Baltimore County, shared this with us today. Two days ago the vehemently anti-gay "Westboro Baptist Church" took to the streets around Towson High School to protest... well, pretty much everything, including LGBT-inclusion and the high school's gay-straight alliance (GSA).
You can read the write up in the student newspaper here, which includes a video of the event. Mark also shared his observations of the community turn-out to counter the hateful messages with messages of PFLAG love...
Monday, March 30th, a Rally took place in Towson, Maryland (Baltimore County) in support of Towson High School's GSA & Diversity Club. Our PFLAG Baltimore County group was joined by some others from PFLAG Bel Air, PFLAG Columbia and several religious community groups. There were members from Towson Unitarian Universalist Church, Bel Air Unitarian Universalist Church and Govans Presbyterian, to name a few. These are all LGBT welcoming and supportive congregations. The Queer Student Alliance from Towson University represented the largest (and loudest) contingent of supporters. Some PFLAG Baltimore County members worked with the peace-keeping Silent Witness PA group, and some of us held signs promoting PFLAG Baltimore County.
The positive energy generated by this event was at moments personally overwhelming. My realization that “Hope is Alive” was drastically reinforced but the tremendously positive turnout on Monday. I now have great confidence in our future. The negative message of the [Westboro Baptist]church was represented by a meager six or eight individuals. I am estimating the
crowd of our supporters to have been in the hundreds. Towson Times estimated the crowd to be 250, but in my judgment it appeared to be closer to 400... either way our supporters greatly out numbered our detractors!
I am very proud to be a part of PFLAG Baltimore County. I am also very proud of each and every one our members. We are a small (40) but growing group. With continued participation and interaction with our community we will grow this organization into a very influential support mechanism for LGBT children and their parents and friends in Maryland.