The Westboro Baptist Church was barred from protesting the funeral of a victim of the Pulse nightclub massacre this week, when a human chain of counter-protesters formed to drown out their nonsense.
The notorious hate group vowed earlier this week to picket funerals of the victims but an organization that gathered on Facebook, called “Human chain link for Pulse Funerals,” has vowed to prevent that from ever happening.
At a memorial service for 40-year-old Javier Jorge-Reyes earlier this week, over 100 protesters including “tattooed bikers, sheriff’s deputies, young members of the LGBT community and local allies” gathered to form their first chain.
According to the Washington Post, protesters “used posters and rainbow-colored sheets as shields to block the view and prevent potential disruption by anti-gay protesters.”
Though no Westboro members showed up, group organizer Jessica Wright-Maynard has vowed to continue forming human chains at the remaining victim funerals to ensure the Westboro clan remains at bay.
“The families deserve respect,” Diana Mitchell, a college professor attending the memorial, told the paper. “This is their time to mourn.”
According to Pink News, which called the group a “human chain of love,” people at the memorial have expressed their thanks in comments on the group’s Facebook page.
“I wanted to write a big THANK YOU! Yesterday, I attended my friend Javier Jorge-Reyes memorial,” one commenter wrote. “You all did an amazing job of blocking the hate out of the service. All of us inside were at ease and some didn’t even know there were haters out there because of all the love that was blocking the protesters. So thank you, we actually felt safe!!!”