Equality House on Saturday hosted the
wedding of a lesbian couple in its front yard, which is located
across the street from the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church in
Aaron Jackson's charity Planting Peace
owns the house. In March, a team of volunteers painted it rainbow
colors and named it Equality House.
Westboro Baptist Church, infamous for
coining the phrase “God Hates Fags,” has said its members protest
the funerals of fallen American soldiers because they died protecting
a nation which supports homosexuality.
Kimberly Kidwell and Katie Short tied
the knot in front of family and friends. The wedding, while not
legal, sent a powerful message.
According to The
Huffington Post, the church protested with signs in its front
yard and a banner over its wooden fence.
Jackson said that the symbolic wedding
was timed to coincide with two cases related to gay marriage
currently before the Supreme Court.
leaves gay marriage cases Prop 8, DOMA for last day.)
“We wanted to help play a role in
bringing light to this critical issue,” Jackson said. “None of
us knows exactly how the court is going to rule, but no matter what
they say, there is still a lot of work to be done.”
The women live in Arkansas, where
marrying a member of the same sex is also prohibited.
“Since it's illegal in Arkansas, we
were really going to wait for it to become legal, but I read an
article a couple of months ago that said out of the top nine states
that that were least likely to approve same-sex marriage, Arkansas
was number one,” Kidwell said.
Robin Lunn, an ordained Baptist
minister and the executive director of the Association of Welcoming
and Affirming Baptists, officiated over the ceremony. Equality House
also hosted a reception for the couple in its back yard. (A video
short on the wedding is embedded on this page. Visit
our video library for more videos.)