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Westboro Baptist Church plans campus protest

October 13, 2016

The Westboro Baptist Church has notified UW–Madison that its members will stage a protest on campus on Thursday, Oct. 20.

The protest will take place at the northwest corner of Park Street and University Avenue from 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

The university will facilitate a safe and orderly event.

The group has indicated UW–Madison was selected in response to a recent ranking that recognized the university as being LGBT-friendly, a distinction of which the university is proud.

“As an institution of higher education, we value public discourse and we respect freedom of speech and assembly,” Chancellor Rebecca Blank notes. “We also strongly value and support diversity on our campus, including our LGBT community.”

“Public safety officials will take all appropriate steps to ensure that members of the church — and those who oppose their message — can safely share their views.”

The university’s LGBT Campus Center, 123 Red Gym, will be open from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. for community-building, fellowship and food. All members of the UW–Madison community are welcome.

The Westboro Baptist Church also announced planned stops at the North American Association of Environmental Education Conference at Monona Terrace and at UW-Milwaukee on the same day.