Even though the controversial Westboro Baptist Church nor the states of Kansas and Arkansas recognize same-sex marriage, that didn't stop Kimberly Kidwell and Katie Short of Little Rock, Ark. from holding their wedding ceremony at The Equality House in Topeka, Kans. on Saturday across the street from Westboro's anti-gay homebase, according to Gawker.
The notorious Phelps clan held up anti-gay signs decrying "Dyke sin" across the street, but Kidwell, Short and their guests remained unbothered as they said their vows at the rainbow-colored Equality House residence.
"I guess I was almost numb after seeing them for a minute," Kidwell said of the Phelps protestors to the Huffington Post."I knew the signs would be there, and I wasn't even angry about it. We were just so ecstatic to be getting married." Kidwell wore a pantsuit while her bride Short wore a traditional wedding dress for the occassion.
Aaron Jackson, landlord of Equality House and co-founder of the house's charity Plating Peace, organized the event as part of the charity group's ongoing peaceful protest of the Westboro Baptist Church. Five-year old Jayden Sink recently set up a lemonade stand in front of Equality House, "Pink Lemonade Stand for Peace," in an effort to spread peace and love while protesting the church.
Kidwell and Short's wedding was scheduled to coincide with the lead-up to two potentially historic Supreme Court cases on same-sex marriage that will take place next week. "None of us know exactly how the court is going to rule, but no matter what they say, there is still a lot of work to be done," Jackson said to the Huffington Post.
The Phelps apparently welcomed the wedding, hoping more would follow so they could further spread their own message.
"I hope this is the first of what will become ground central for this sodomite marriage brigade," spokesperson Jonathan Phelps said to the Topeka Capital-Journal. "The only reason they are holding a marriage ceremony here is because of the faithful preaching about what the Bible says about their sin."
Same-sex marriage is currently banned in Kansas by constitutional amendment. Nonetheless, Kidwell and Short were wed on Saturday by ordained Baptist minister Robin Lunn and executive director of the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, in front of around 100 family members and friends.
"I said that we deserve equality and the same rights as everyone else, and the people of Topeka deserve that equality, too," Kidwell said to HuffPost on Sunday morning by phone. "I got so emotional just thinking that just one person from this city may change their views on homosexuals or the LGBT community as a whole."