Countering Hate With Love: Same-Sex Wedding Across From Westboro

Equality House, whose presence is a counter to Westboro Baptist Church's hateful message, hosted its first same-sex wedding Saturday.

BY Trudy Ring

June 23 2013 2:09 PM ET

Katie Short (left) and Kimberly Kidwell

The Equality House, the rainbow-colored house across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., hosted its first same-sex wedding Saturday.

Kimberly Kidwell and Katie Short of Little Rock, Ark., celebrated their love and commitment on the house’s front lawn. A lesbian minister officiated, and about 100 friends, family members, and other supporters attended. Several local businesses and organizations donated goods and services for the wedding.

The nonprofit organization Planting Peace bought the house across from the infamous antigay church last year and had it painted in rainbow colors earlier this year. Its presence is meant to counter Westboro’s hateful message.

Westboro put up a few protest signs on its property, but “the brides hardly noticed,” The Huffington Post reports. “I guess I was almost numb after seeing them for a minute,” Kidwell told HuffPo. “I knew the signs would be there, and I wasn’t even angry about it. We were just so ecstatic to be getting married.”

While neither Arkansas nor Kansas recognizes same-sex marriages, Planting Peace founder Aaron Jackson said Kidwell and Short’s wedding was an important symbolic moment as the Supreme Court prepares to rule in two cases involving marriage equality. It will be the first of many such ceremonies Equality House will host, he said.

Watch a wedding video below, and see more about the ceremony and the couple on Equality House’s Facebook page.


 

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