Plans by the notorious Westboro Baptist Church to protest the Resource Center Dallas, a northern Texas nonprofit that offers a variety of programs to LGBT and HIV-positive people, on July 9 have been turned into a fund-raiser. The center has launched an initiative called “Hell Freezes Over” and is asking local residents to donate an amount of money for each minute the protesters plan to picket both the center and Beth El Binah, a mainstream Jewish congregation with a longtime LGBT outreach that meets at the center. The center plans to use funds raised to buy a new ice machine for its meals program, which serves lunches to HIV-positive clients every weekday.
“The protesters have been known to abandon their protests when they’re turned into a fund-raiser,” says Bret Camp, associate executive director for the center’s health and medical services. “Whether the church shows up or not, this is a way for the North Texas community to stand with us against hate and help us with a timely need.”