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Westboro Plans Albany Encore

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The antigay Westboro Baptist Church is planning a return engagement in Albany, N.Y., to protest a high school production of The Laramie Project mounted in response to an earlier Westboro demonstration.

The play, to be performed November 19-22 at Albany High School, portrays the response to Matthew Shepard's brutal murder in Laramie, Wyo., in 1998 -- including the protests of Westboro pastor Fred Phelps and his "God hates fags" flock at Shepard's funeral.

Members of Topeka, Kan.-based Westboro, who frequently protest productions of the play around the nation, plan to be in Albany November 20. They last demonstrated in the city in March, on their way to protest a staging of The Laramie Project in Plattsburgh, N.Y. They were met with a large counterdemonstration (pictured) in Albany, and their appearance led the high school students to decide to produce the play.

"I hope it fills them with love, with the knowledge that this is our world," Aaron Moore, an 18-year-old senior who will play Phelps in the production, told the Albany Times Union. "This is how it's going to be, and this is how it's going to stay."

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.