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

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

Topekawedding

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

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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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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.