US: Pastors down the road from Westboro Baptist Church are ready to marry gay couples

PinkNews logo with white background and rainbow corners

Several church pastors in Topeka are preparing to marry same-sex couples, just five minutes away from the notoriously anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church.

Same-sex marriages have commenced in some parts of Kansas, after a judge struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage and the Supreme Court refused to halt the ruling.

With marriages expected to begin across Shawnee County, where the homophobic hate group are based, a number of Topeka pastors have offered their services.

Reverend Joshua Longbottom of Central Congregational United Church of Christ –  1.8 miles from the ‘God Hates Fags’ church – has expressed his intention to marry gay couples from Monday, telling CJ Online: “I would be very happy to officiate same-sex marriages.

“It’s been so long for people who have been marginalized. It’s a new day for equality.”

Meanwhile, also just down the road is Reverend Tobias Schlingensiepen of the First Congregational United Church of Christ – who is prepared to marry gay couples just 1.4 miles from the anti-gay group.

He said he was following the example of Jesus by being accepting, adding: “God’s love is for all people.”

Of course, if couples find that the first two churches are too busy, The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Topeka – 2 miles from the WBC – is also available to wed same-sex couples.

For members of the Westboro Baptist Church who wish to marry their same-sex partners, we enclose the following walking directions to Central Congregational United Church of Christ:

* Head north on Churchill Rd
* Turn right on to 12th Street, walk 1.5 miles.
* Turn right. You have reached your destination.