Westboro Funeral Picketers to Be Confronted by 'Angels'

Silent supporters will block mourners with large wings
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2011 10:11 AM CST
In this photo combo, victims killed at a political event with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Ariz. on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011 are shown.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – When Westboro Baptist Church picketers arrive at the funeral of 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green on Thursday, they’ll be met by a group of angels. Tucson residents are coming together to build 8- by 10-foot angel wings, which participants will wear while surrounding the mourners. "We want to surround them, in a nonviolent way, to say that our community is united," one of the organizers tells CNN. The “angel action” was first created after the church picketed the funeral of Matthew Shepherd.

Others, some of whom organized on Facebook, are also planning to stand silently at the funeral to show their support—and they will continue at all the coming funerals if the church plans to picket again. One Arizona lawmaker is also taking action, ABC reports. A state representative drafted legislation, patterned after a constitutional Ohio law that has been upheld in court, to keep protesters at least 300 feet away from the funerals. She says the bill will be passed and signed today. Click for more on Westboro's picketing plans.

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