NEW YORK – Westboro Baptist Church, best known for their protests at dead soldier’s funerals, will be joining the New York rallies protesting gay marriage this Sunday.
New York's gay marriage law takes effect July 24 following a 30-day waiting period after it was signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The controversial Westboro church plans to protest at City Marriage Bureaus throughout New York City, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s local office and the Gracie Mansion where Mayor Bloomberg is scheduled to officiate the weddings of two homosexual staffers.
"WBC will picket the reprobates of Fag infested New York state to remind them that God defined marriage as a sacred union between one man and one woman for life," Westboro stated on its website.
At least 800 same-sex couples are expected to be married by city officials on Sunday. Mayor Bloomberg initially announced a lottery to fill the 764 available slots but that plan was scrapped after city officials said Friday that they would be able to accommodate all who apply for marriage licenses and ceremonies.
Protest at the Marriage Bureaus will take place at the Manhattan Office 7:30-9:00 a.m., at the Brooklyn office 9:45-10:30 a.m., at the Bronx office 11:15-12:00 p.m. and finally at the Gracie Mansion from 4:30-5:00 p.m.
Westboro believes God is punishing the United States for their acceptance of homosexuality.
"For their defiance of their Lord, New York will suffer the wrath of God being poured out on them from the sky, just as others in history who have followed this path experienced," Westboro stated in its announcement of the gay marriage protests.
Westboro Baptist Church, which Baptist groups have distanced themselves from and which is made up of Fred Phelps and his family, has most recently made headlines for protesting celebrities' funerals like the late Elizabeth Taylor and Ryan Dunn. They’ve also protested at the funeral of the former first lady Betty Ford along with the victims of the Arizona shooting that severely wounded Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
The notorious church plans to also join other rallies against gay marriage including the "Let the People Vote" protests organized by the National Organization for Marriage and supported by Bronx Senator Rev. Ruben Diaz.
The NOM protest, which is calling for a referendum on gay marriage, will take place at four locations in New York: Manhattan, Albany, Buffalo and Rochester. Supporters of traditional marriage say that the issue should be decided by the 20 million people in New York.
While a gay civil rights group, Connecting Rainbows, plans to hold a counter-protest to the NOM rally in front of Cuomo's office, more than 5,000 people are expected to participate in the NOM rallies.