The angles stood guard against the infamously hateful group. People in Orlando have dressed as guardian angels to protect the funeral of one of the Orlando shooting victims from homophobic protesters. A small number of Westboro Baptist Church followers, attended Saturday’s service for Christopher Leinonen – who many thought would be buried alongside his boyfriend, Juan Ramon Guerrero, who also died in the shooting.
The church is small, but radically homophobic. The people from the WBC did not expect to see counter-protest, but they dealt with a strong resistance. Some of those shielding the service wore huge white linen wings – which they used to further hide the funeral proceedings from the WBC. “I think our presence here is just to show support for the families of the victims and we want to make sure that we’re an ally,” said one supporter, Suzanne Draper.
Fellow counter-demonstrator, Wesley Wizner added: “We wanted to make sure we could block the signs.“We just intended to make sure we were showing as much support as possible and they were running into as large of an opposition as we could create.” The wings were made by volunteers from the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre’s costume and set departments.