An anti-LGBT hate group — the Westboro Baptist Church from Kansas — will picket outside a transgender health clinic in Philadelphia during the Democratic national Convention.
WBC announced a protest on July 26 against the Mazzoni Center's Transgender Health Clinic, 809 Locust St., Philadelphia.The Mazzoni Center is LGBT full-service healthcare provider.
In response to the announcement, eight local community organizers planned a peaceful rally to create a blockade between the clinic and the WBC. The "Great Wall of Love" will be held 1 p.m-4 p.m. in front of the clinic.
More than 4,000 may attend.
The organizers, in a statement, said they launched the event because of their shared concern over the current national assault on transgender people's rights, as well as their bodies.
According to the WBC’s website, protest is specifically directed toward the Mazzoni Center’s transgender clinic and its patients: “The Mazzoni Center has festered in Philadelphia for over 35 years and just hosted the 15th Annual Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference. It's an open, running sore of sodomite filth, encouraging more than 35,000 sodomites annually to continue proud sin and spread incurable disease.”
Organizer Deja Lynn Alvarez, director of the first LGBTQIA shelter and recovery facility, The LGBTQ Home for Hope, works for the Philadelphia Department of Health. Of the rally, she said, "This event is necessary because it is important that the world see the Trans* community is a loving community, despite the fact that we face daily job discrimination, hate, assault, inadequate healthcare, a 40 percent attempted suicide rate, a homelessness rate of nearly 50 percent and a murder rate nine times higher than any other minority group.
"I am overwhelmed to see, for the first time, the different straight, gay, cisgender, and Trans* communities coming together in loving support, as we defend our Transgender clinic against the hateful Westboro Baptist Church."
The blockade will follow Dr. Martin Luther King's tactic of peaceful resistance. Rally-goers will ignore WBC and focus on shielding the patients entering and exiting the clinic.