Lesbian Couple Marries— 50 Feet From Westboro

Couple holds ceremony across the street from church

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 25, 2013 2:30 AM CDT
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(Newser) – First Aaron Jackson painted his house, across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, in rainbow colors and called it "Equality House." Then, in case that hadn't irked the WBC enough, he and his Planting Peace nonprofit invited a lesbian couple to have a wedding there. Kimberly Kidwell and Katie Short said "I do" outside, about 50 feet away from the church Saturday, the New York Daily News reports. There were 100 guests on hand, but while WBC members did put up their well-known signs off the property, they're not allowed to protest on a residential property, Jackson explains.

Same-sex marriage is not legal in Kansas or Arkansas, where Kidwell and Short are from, MSNBC notes, but the ceremony was meant to raise awareness. Jackson figured the timing was right, since the Supreme Court is expected to rule on two gay marriage cases soon. The ceremony was performed by an ordained Baptist minister who is also a lesbian. Of the WBC's protest signs, "I guess I was almost numb after seeing them for a minute. I knew the signs would be there, and I wasn't even angry about it. We were just so ecstatic to be getting married," Kidwell tells the Huffington Post.

Kimberly Kidwell and Katie Short get married at Equality House in Topeka, Kansas.
Kimberly Kidwell and Katie Short get married at Equality House in Topeka, Kansas.   (YouTube)
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Kimberly Kidwell and Katie Short are shown in their wedding video.   (Colin MacMillan)

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