MENOMONIE, Wis. — Hundreds of people at the University of Wisconsin-Stout staged a counter-protest against members of a Kansas church who demonstrated on campus after three students were killed in a house fire.
Several people from Westboro Baptist Church picketed at the Menomonie campus, stating the three students “died for Wisconsin and Minnesota’s sins.”
April C. Englund, 21, of West St. Paul, Amanda Jean Rief, 20, of Chaska, and Scott A. Hams, 23, of Hayward, Wis. died early Saturday in a fire in an off-campus duplex. The cause of the fire is under investigation and no foul play is suspected.
Church members held signs saying “God’s Wrath is Revealed” and “America is Doomed.” Westboro Baptist members have delivered similar messages while protesting outside furnerals for soldiers killed in Iraq, and on its websites godhatesfags.com, godhatesameric.com, and americaisdoomed.com.
Nearly 1,000 students demonstrated against the church members Thursday outside the Memorial Student Center.
Students carried signs saying “God Hates No One,” and “Hate is Sin in God’s Eyes.”
Campus and local police were present at the demonstration.
Original title: Hundreds of Wis. students counter-protest church picketers