By Liz Welch, Fair is Fair MontanaHate is not a Montana value. Montana families are open and inclusive. Bozeman churches do not want to be associated with hate and negativity. Why then did the Westboro Baptist Church chose Bozeman to show their unique and highly offensive brand of free speech and anti-gay sentiment?
Hundreds Gather in Bozeman, MT to Protest Hate A broad coalition of religious denominations, veteran organizations, Montana State University student groups, and members of Bozeman’s LGBTQ community rallied to send the message to a Kansas-based hate group that their message of hate is not only unwelcome, but outnumbered. An estimated attendance of 800 people was reported by organizer Jamie Greer of Greater Gallatin Valley for Equality. The majority of people congregated at an ACLU-sponsored Rally For Inclusion, removed from the protest site. The remainder gathered at Bozeman High School, where the three members of the Westboro Baptist Church hate group were picketing. This is not the first time Bozeman has rallied against hate. According to Beth Shalom Rabbi Ed Stafman, a group of Neo-Nazis organized a rally in Bozeman five years ago, and were met with approximately 1,000 protesters.