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Kansas church threatens protests in Rochester over same-sex marriage

A Kansas church known for picketing the funerals of U.S. soldiers said it plans to picket Mayo Clinic and Olmsted County's Vital Records and Licensing Office on Aug. 1 — the day same-sex marriage becomes legal in the state.

And a local group has sprung up on Facebook to organize a counter-protest, saying their goal is not to antagonize, but to peacefully drown out the protesters, if they assemble. The counter group on Facebook is "Counter-protest the Wesboro Baptist Church."

In a press release the Westboro Baptist Church said it plans to start the day protesting at the Olmsted County Government Center for the "opening of the official feces-wallowing fest." They will then protest at in front of the clinic at 200 First St. S.W. from 8:15 a.m. to 9 a.m. to show their opposition to Mayo's policy of providing benefits to same-sex couples. The press release states that "Mayo Clinic encourages that filthy, god-defying lifestyle."

The Westboro Baptist Church protesters are then slated to go to St. Paul to protest at the Ramsey County Public Health office, where marriage licenses are issued.

Both the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center have labeled Westboro Baptist Church, of Topeka, Kan., a hate group.

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