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Anti-gay church plans protest at Fairfax High

June 18, 2009 |  3:21 pm

A Kansas-based church known for celebrating at the funerals of American soldiers killed in war plans to protest Friday at Fairfax High School because the student body elected a gay male teen as its prom queen.

Westboro Baptist Church, which has been named a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, says it will picket at the school between 12:15 and 1 p.m. Members of the church will also protest on Friday outside a Jewish temple, a community center and the Anti-Defamation League's headquarters in Los Angeles.

The protest at Fairfax was prompted by the student body crowning Sergio Garcia, 18, prom queen last month. Counter-protesters are expected, and they say they will use the church's presence to raise donations for the school's Gay-Straight Alliance.

Westboro Baptist last protested at a Southern California school in April, when congregants picketed the staging of the musical "Rent" at an Orange County high school. The group routinely celebrates at soldiers' funerals, contending that they are purposely killed by God because of America's tolerance of homosexuality.

-- Seema Mehta

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