Kansas church group protests same-sex marriage law

A few demonstrators from a controversial church in Topeka, Kan., came to Minnesota today to protest the first day of same-sex marriage in the state.

Anti- gay protesters at Capitol
Timothy Phelps from the Westboro Church in Topeka, Kan. traveled to Minnesota to protest the same-sex marriage. MPR Photo/ Mark Zdechlik

At the base of the Capitol steps several dozen same-sex marriage supporters held signs and sang together as a few people from the Westboro Baptist Church stood on the steps holding signs with vulgar anti-gay messages. Among them was Timothy Phelps, son of the church's founder Fred Phelps, who said he welcomed legal same-sex marriage because he think will will hasten the end of the world.

"And that's what our job is, warn everybody. If they won't flee, it's on them," Phelps said. "They can't blame us for their destruction.".

The Phelps family has traveled the nation protesting homosexuality outside funerals of U.S. service members.

A much larger group of same-sex marriage supporters showed up at the Capitol and peacefully confronted the church group.

Jay Linnell  of Northeast Minneapolis said he and other same-sex marriage supporters knew the group from Kansas was coming and they wanted to counter its anti-gay message.

"The only people who showed out here to say anything on the other side were six people from out of state," Linnell said. "What this showed you is that the people in Minnesota who had something to say today were the people who were celebrating what Minnesotans as a majority came out to say, and that's that love will be honored in this state."

Same-sex marriage supporter at Capitol
Same-sex marriage supporter at Capitol Jay Linnell of northeast Minneapolis. MPR Photo/ Mark Zdechlik

Dozens of same-sex couples got married today, some of them in high-profile ceremonies at Minneapolis City Hall at the stroke of midnight.

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