Westboro Baptist Church protests D.C. school’s gay-straight alliance (Photos)

WASHINGTON — Students at a D.C. high school clashed with anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church picketers outside the school Monday morning.

Westboro Baptist Church showed up to Wilson High School with signs Monday morning after the school’s Pride Day event last week.

The Kansas-based church, which is known for picketing and communicating anti-gay messages at military funerals, called the school’s gay-straight alliance shameful. The church claims that tolerance of homosexuality invokes the wrath of God.

Wilson principal Pete Cahall announced to students that he is gay last week during its Pride Day festivities.

“They have no business dabbling in these issues at all,” says Rebekah Phelps-Davis, a member of the church.

Church member Charles Hockenbarger held a sign that had a gay slur posted on it.

“The message is repent or perish,” he said. “These young people are being told to take pride in their sins.”

The students had a counter-protest and made signs in support of the gay-straight alliance. Cahall says the students “should be proud of themselves” for the turnout Monday morning.

“It’s really a testament to the unity not only in our student body, but all over D.C.,” says the school’s junior class president, Margaret Kellogg.

After the school protest, the church has stops planned for the Supreme Court, the White House and Arlington National Cemetery.

Last week, Mayor Vincent Gray weighed in on the church’s visit.

“In my best biblical reference, they can go straight to hell,” Gray said.

Watch a video of the protesters:

WTOP’s Nick Iannelli contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter and WTOP on Facebook.

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