Westboro Baptist Church is now targeting an Australian high school. The Margaret River Senior High School in WA attracted the unwanted attention of the infamous U.S. anti-gay group after it announced plans to perform a production about the life of Matthew Shepard, a victim of gay hate crime in the U.S.
The play titled “The Laramie Project” is from playwright Moises Kaufman, and is about the reaction to the 1998 murder of Shepard, who was brutally beaten and left to die in the city of Larami in Wyoming.
Although they have been around since the mid ‘50s, the WBC members came into national spotlight after picketing the funeral of Shepard. They have since picketed a number of other funerals, concerts, political meetings, and events.
And perhaps that’s why they are now targeting Margaret River Senior High School, apart from the obvious reason that they oppose Shepard’s sexuality. It has been announced that its students will be performing the play on Tuesday.
On Thursday, the WBC called the Aussie school “land of the damned down under,” threatening to picket it.
— Westboro Baptist (@WBCSays) March 27, 2014
The students are not worried, though. In fact, they were pleased that the WBC gave them free publicity.
“Yes [the students] are quite excited they’ve generated a response,” arts teacher Mern McCormack told WA News. “They have had an emotional response but they feel quite empowered by it – they feel they are doing something right.”
Principal Andrew Host was also amused by the response of the notorious hate group.
“We’re a school that promotes social tolerance,” he said. “It’s a challenging text and I’m sure they will do an outstanding job of performing it.”
Westboro Baptist Church recently picketed New Zealand phenomenon Lorde’s concert in Kansas.