Hundreds gather to support same-sex marriage; against Westboro - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Hundreds gather to support same-sex marriage; rally against Westboro protestors


ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- When word got out that protestors from the Westboro Baptist Church were going to protest against same-sex marriage in downtown Rochester Thursday morning, a large crowd came out to show their support of marriage equality.

Hundreds packed the streets near the Peace Plaza either celebrating today's law, or giving their opinion on what today means for Minnesota.

A growing crowd of more than 100 same-sex marriage supporters greeted half a dozen members of the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church outside of Mayo Clinic this morning. The Westboro protestors had started at the Olmsted County Goverment Center at about 6:45 a.m. Thursday before moving to the Mayo campus.

Both sides were holding colorful signs, with unique sayings on each one. The signs, along with properly-themed music made sure each person made sure their voice was heard.

Counter-protesters met up with the Westboro protestors and planned to follow them in their multiple stops through the day.

Proponents of the many "I-Do's" being said across Minnesota today say they're marking what Governor Mark Dayton has deemed, Freedom To Marry Day with a day full of celebrations, including right here in Rochester.

"I just think everybody deserves to be treated equal. It's one big world so if you don't like us there's plenty of room to walk around. I may not be gay myself, but I come here because I support all of my friends and I hope my son grows up the same way. I'm just trying to set a good example for him," one supporter told KTTC Thursday.

The shouts of support for gay marriage nearly drowned out the handful of Westboro protestors, but that didn't seem to deter them from having their side heard.

Rochester police had officers at each rally location, just in case things would have gotten out of hand. As of 12 p.m., officials said the rallies seemed to remain noisy, but peaceful.

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