Updated:DUPONT, Wash. —
Counter-demonstrators dressed up as zombies Friday to protest against members of a small Kansas church outside Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
The members of the Westboro Baptist Church are known for sparking anger and counter-demonstrations. Eight of their members spread their anti-gay message on the streets of DuPont.
The demonstrators used repeated slurs and claimed soldiers died because God is angry with America over gay marriage and tolerance of "gay lifestyles."
“Amazon’s founder said today he’s going to put $2.5 million in the kitty. Amazon.com’s founder [donated] to push for [same-sex] marriage in the state of Washington, and you think God kills soldiers because of that? Absolutely, he does,” said Steve Drain of the Westboro Baptist Church.
Officers with the DuPont Police Department and Washington State Patrol troopers were present at the event.
Across the street from the Westboro protestors were counter-demonstrators who supported soldiers, and many of them dressed up as zombies after a Facebook campaign.
“I think that their message is very hateful, and Jesus was not a hateful person. He loved everybody,” said counter-demonstrator Ashley Winslow.
KIRO 7 Eyewitness News spoke with another counter-demonstrator, Ashlee Nerad, who said her group came because of family ties to the military.
“I come from a long line of military, including my husband, so when they protests my troops, I’m going to protect my First Amendment rights and protest them,” said Nerad.
The Westboro members left at the precise time that their permit allowing the protest expired. There were no arrests during the demonstration.