The controversial Westboro Baptist Church plans to picket the New York City's Gay Pride March on Sunday, claiming that their presence demanded by "hundreds" following the passage of gay marriage in New York.
This year's New York City’s Pride March is the first time the event is being held where gay marriage is legalized. On Friday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill legalizing marriage between same-sex couples after the legislation passed in the Senate, 33 to 29. Cuomo, who introduced the bill, is expected to march in the parade.
In a press release Saturday, Westboro Baptist Church said many people and the press urged them to show up at the event.
"As @NYGovCuomo pushed fag marriage, hundreds (including media) called on #Westboro for an appearance at this Fag Death March!"
The extremist group, based in Topeka, Kansas, said announced that it would stage its protest at the start of the NYC Pride March's route at 36th Street and Fifth Avenue from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.
More than 350 groups and 500,000 participants will march in the procession, which will head down Fifth Avenue and across Greenwich Village. The event starts at 12:00 noon.
Because of the recent passage of the gay marriage bill, organizers say they expect an additional 500,000 to 1 million attendants to the Pride March's usual crowd of 1.5 million people.
When the New York law takes effect July 24, same-sex weddings will be legal in six states and Washington, D.C.
Westboro cited Romans 1 in its press release about the NYC Pride March and said that homosexuals are "worthy of death."
"Wherefore God gave them up to…dishonor their own bodies…women did change the natural use into that which is against nature..the men..burned in their lust one toward another, men with men working that which is unseemly…knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them, Romans 1," the group stated.
The press release also said that Gov. Cuomo has "doomed the nation" with his support of gay marriage.
Westboro Baptist Church is infamous for its provocative antics, from protesting at the funerals of U.S. soldiers who died in Iraq to holding demonstrations to thank God for 9/11. This past week, the group made headlines again by pledging to picket at any public funeral or memorial service of MTV reality TV star Ryan Dunn, who died in a drunk-driving car crash on Monday.