In a nightmare for all hateful bigots, two lesbians got married across the street from the hateful, bigoted Westboro Baptist Church, famous for protesting funerals and their oh-so-biblically inspired “God Hates Fags” signs. Kimberly Kidwell, a 31-year-old EMT, married Katie Short on the front lawn of the Equality House in Topeka Kansas, the rainbow-painted residence owned by Aaron Jackson, one of the founders of the charity Planting Peace. Jackson used Google Earth to find the location of of the Church. He noticed a “for sale” sign on the house across the street and decided to buy it. The website for the House says, “To combat [WBC’s] messages of hate and to support equality and anti-bullying initiatives in schools and in our community, Planting Peace has established the Equality House.” The house will “serve as the resource center for all Planting Peace equality and anti-bullying initiatives and will stand as a visual reminder of our commitment, as global citizens, to equality for all.” Jackson says Equality house attracts 150 a day.
Kidwell and Short live in Arkansas, where same-sex marriage is illegal, as it is in Kansas. They planned to forgo a wedding and wait until it would be legal. But when Jackson posted on Facebook that he was looking for a couple to get married, they jumped at the opportunity. Kidwell and Short were wed by Robin Lunn, an ordained Baptist minister and executive director of the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, in ceremony consisting of approximately 100 family members, friends and supporters from the community. Local businesses and individuals donated almost everything from the flowers, to the wedding cake. And in lieu of gifts, the couple asked for donations to a Planting Peace marriage equality fundraiser.