Thursday, October 10, 2013

Peaceful Counter Protest to Westboro

The Westboro Baptist Church has announced their plan to picket in front of Ford's Theatre this Friday, Oct. 11 because of the theatre's performances of the "The Laramie Project." Ford's Theatre is inviting the entire DC community to come out for a peaceful counter-protest from 6:30-7:30 p.m in front of the theatre (511 10th St. NW).

"The Laramie Project" tells the story of the brutal attack and death of Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyoming in 1998 because he was gay. In October 2009, Congress passed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, and on October 28, 2009, President Barack Obama signed the legislation into law.

Following the protest, Ford's will hold a special 7:30 p.m. performance of “The Laramie Project” at First Congregational Church and all proceeds will be donated to the Matthew Shepard Foundation. After the performance, join us for a public candlelight vigil at 10:15 p.m. Details and schedule for Friday are below. We hope you can be there for all or part of the night!

Friday, October 11

6:30 to 7:30 p.m.: Counter Protest

In front of Ford’s Theatre (511 10th St. NW)
The Westboro folks are scheduled to protest outside of Ford’s Theatre from 6:45 to 7:30 p.m. We would like to have a peaceful counter protest from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Our counter protest will consist of holding Erase Hate signs and an Erase Hate banner. We will not engage with the protesters verbally or physically. To participate in the counter protest, please email by 5 p.m. Thursday, October 10.

7:30 p.m.: The Laramie Project

At First Congregational United Church of Christ (945 G St. NW)
Matthew Shepard died on October 12, 1998. Fifteen years later, we honor his legacy with a fundraiser for the Matthew Shepard Foundation. Ford’s Theatre will donate all proceeds from the October 11 performance of The Laramie Project to the Foundation. Tickets are only $25.

10:15 to 10:45 p.m.: Candlelight Vigil

In front of Ford’s Theatre (511 10th St. NW)
Following the performance, we will host a candlelight vigil outside of the theatre in honor of Matthew Shepard and National Coming Out Day. Matthew’s father, Dennis Shepard, will make remarks. Garrison Gibbons, one of the students from the Ole Miss production of The Laramie Project, will be there. Rev. Dwayne Johnson of Metropolitan Community Church of Washington will lead an interfaith moment of silence. Members of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, directed by Dr. Thea Kano, will sing. If you would like to attend the vigil, please rsvp at

For those that don't know about The Laramie Project or Matthew Shepard, we encourage you learn more here: