Wednesday, April 16, 2014
UMass Amherst students, area church officials and members of the community organized a rally at UMass today in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
The gathering attracted thousands of people. It began around 11:30 a.m. and wrapped up a little after 1 p.m. The event was sparked by anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church. Westboro church leaders had sent out a message via Twitter that they planned to come to town to protest last week’s announcement by UMass basketball player Derrick Gordon that he is gay, the first such revelation by a Division 1 men’s college basketball player.
About 5 Westboro Baptist Church members arrived on campus around 12:30 p.m. and stayed for about a half an hour.
Citing safety concerns journalists and protesters were kept apart from church members.
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