Westboro Anti-Gay Protesters Inspire Comedian
LISA LAPANELLI $50,000 Donation to Gay Charity
Crass comedian Lisa Lampanelli has pledged to make a $50,000 donation to the Gay Men's Health Crisis charity after Westboro Baptist church protesters turned up to picket one of her shows.
Lampanelli promised to donate $1,000 in the name of every Westboro member who protested outside her show last Friday night in Topeka, Kansas, also home to the Westboro Baptist Church.
Although 48 Westboro members turned up, Lampanelli decided to round it up. Now a $50,000 donation will be made to the Gay Men's Health Crisis "in their name."
Critics of Westboro are quipping that the fundamentalist church has inadvertently made a positive contribution to gay causes.
The Gay Men's Health Crisis issued this statement in response to Lampanelli's donation: "We are grateful for Lisa Lampanelli's kindness and courage to fight homophobia … She is holding up a mirror to bigotry and hatred, and reflecting back love and generosity."
Lampanelli confirmed via her Twitter page that she is to present the check to the charity in person on Monday.
Meanwhile the counter protests continue to draw large numbers wherever Westboro Baptist Church goes. When seven members of the church, four of them children, arrived in Savannah to picket on Sunday, they were greeted by more than 200 locals waving placards proclaiming love and offering free hugs.
The counter protesters were measured in their response out of the suspicion that the Westboro group deliberately tries to incite a reaction so that they can file a lawsuit and collect damages.
Cody Patterson, executive director of local group Act Out Savannah, told local newspaper Savannah Now: "They're professional con artists under the guise of a church. We're trying to create an effective way for communities to handle them."