Westboro Baptist Church members met by counter protestors

By Marisela Burgos - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A controversial group known for demonstrating at military funerals targeted churches in the Bluegrass over the weekend.

The Westboro Baptist Church group said they wanted to protest in Kentucky after a man claimed priests sexually abused him. Last month, 23-year-old David Jarboe posted a six page letter on Facebook, saying at a young age priests had sexually abused him. Jarboe shot himself in front of Blessed Mother Catholic Church in Owensboro.

After making stops at various churches in Owensboro, about five members of Westboro Baptist Church gathered outside Saint Lawrence Catholic Church in Shively, before catching a flight home. The group was met by more than 100 protestors who wanted to share their message of love.

"[It's] kind of pitiful, really, for the showing we see around the nation they don't have any new ideas over there. nothing new under the signs," said Rachel Hockenbarger a member of Westboro Baptist Church.

Sunday's demonstration took place a couple of days after, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Westboro Baptist Church, saying it's their First Amendment right to display hate slogans during protests and funerals.

"We're glad that the Supreme Court upheld the law of the land. We knew that they would 'cause they swore on oath to God to do that, but they don't get any of the credit all the glory goes to God," Hockenbarger said.

Meanwhile Stephanie Tabor said she wanted to counter the protest.

"I want to get the message out there that what they're doing is wrong and we're not just fighting this battle of hate," Stephanie Tabor said. "Now we're fighting it for our kids. It is their First Amendment right. I know that they have that right, but also they don't have the right to demean people. They don't have the right to mentally abuse people and that's what they're doing and that's why I'm here."

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