CofC students rally to support gay community - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

CofC students rally to support gay community

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Students gather on George St. Monday afternoon Students gather on George St. Monday afternoon
CHARLESTON, SC -

More than 100 College of Charleston students lined a block of George Street Monday afternoon to rally around the gay community at the college.

The peaceful protestors gathered after rumors spread throughout the Lowcountry that members of Westboro Baptist Church were planning to protest an event featuring Judy Shepard. She is a gay rights activist whose son, Matthew, was murdered for being gay more than 15 years ago.

With colorful signs and equality-laced chants, many students were motivated by the rumors of the Westboro protest to come out and support.

"It's amazing to know that so many people in the community have this strong emotion of love to everyone. It's just an amazing feeling," sophomore Matthew Willingham said.

Others said the huge number of students who gathered Monday showed that the fight for gay rights is moving in the right direction.

"The fight's over," Rachel Wierman said. "They have already won. They are gaining so many rights. just this week they won the right to legally get married in New Jersey, and it's over. We are here."

Soon after the protest, close to 400 students gathered to hear Shepard talk about what life has been like since her son was killed. Shepard said she is fighting to end hate crimes, especially ones that are geared towards one's sexuality.

A spokesperson for the College of Charleston said that extra security was on-hand to help control the crowds. Protestors from Westboro Baptist Church did not show up.

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