RICHMOND, Va. -- Hundreds of counter-protesters turned out at the state capitol and on the Monroe Campus of VCU Monday morning to protest a visit from the controversial Westboro Baptist Church.
A small group of the Kansas congregation stood behind steel barricades and held up anti-gay, abortion and transgender signs while surrounded by Richmond Police.
The group, called “arguably the most obnoxious and rabid hate group in America” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, was specifically protesting Delegate Danica Roem, the state’s first openly transgender elected official.
The group originally protested in front of the State Capitol.
The hate group was met by counter-protesters, including Lamb Of God frontman and Virginia native Randy Blythe.
“It was a good excuse to get everyone out here,” said Blythe. "Plus, Danica is my friend and I wasn't real happy that these people are coming out here to bad mouth her, even though she's in Manassas today. They're morons."
Blythe and the counter-protesters were armed with kazoos and noisemakers to drown out the church's message.
Before coming to Richmond, Westboro Baptist church members protested in West Point where a teacher was recently fired for not calling a transgender student by their preferred pronoun.