Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, known for its opposition to the biological existence of homosexuality and for its distasteful protests at the funerals of folks it didn't agree with, is organizing a series of demonstrations in the Los Angeles area during and after this weekend's Academy Awards.
Church followers say they will protest the awards in Hollywood on Sunday before heading to Beverly Hills High School ("they are children of the filth mongers and pervert pushers, the inventers [sic] of evil things") on Monday.
That day a series of demonstrations are scheduled to take place outside media organizations, including, in Westboro's order, TMZ (" filthy purveyors of smut writing sodomite propaganda"), The Hollywood Reporter, La Opinion, the Los Angeles Times, L.A. Weekly ("media shame!"), Fox 11 News, and LA 18 ("We cannot neglect to love our Asian neighbors!").
We reached out to Westboro to ask what we've done to piss the church off. Is it our unapologetic embrace of our LGBT brothers and sisters? Is it our sometimes enthusiastic coverage of L.A.'s other film industry? Is it our sometimes racy (but always tasteful) advertising?
The church didn't get back to us.
The Culver City Police Department is aware of the demonstration planned for Monday afternoon outside L.A. Weekly. (Our offices are in Culver City). Lt. Jason Sims said a church representative told the department that six protesters were expected.
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"We are going to monitor the protest and keep the peace," he said.
But L.A. Weekly's longstanding motto is "speak freely." So we welcome these folks. We really do. And uh, guys, West Hollywood is beautiful this time of year.