Phelps clan a no-show in Neenah

An anti-gay group that threatened to protest a play at Neenah High School was a no-show, leading more than 100 counterprotesters to declare victory.

The Westboro Baptist Church had announced plans to protest the school’s production Saturday night of “The Laramie Project,” a play about the 1988 slaying of gay college student Matthew Shepard in Wyoming.

The Post-Crescent of Appleton reported the counterprotesters carried signs of love, shared hugs and spontaneously sang the chorus of “We Are the Champions” by Queen after nobody from  Fred Phelps Topeka, Kan.-based church showed up. The group gave no explanation but lists a geographically improbable schedule of protests on its website.

Neenah High School principal Colleen Doyle said she was encouraged by the outpouring of support for a play that teaches about tolerance and empowers students to speak out against hate crimes.