Westboro Baptist Church to Target Bellevue Victim's Funeral

The Westboro Baptist Church reported that it plans to protest the funeral of Gloria Koch Leonidas. Sunset Hills Funeral Home says that her family will not allow any protesters at her funeral.

Updated: 5:09 p.m.

The counter-protests planned to shield Gloria Leonidas' funeral from the Westboro Baptist Church have been canceled in accordance with the family's wishes. The organizers who originally planned the counter-demonstration pointed supporters to counter-protest the Westboro Baptist Church's other actions in the Puget Sound:

WBC in my PNW 

*whatever you want to call it* against Westboro Baptist Church

Original story:

Westboro Baptist Church, the Kansas-based group that seizes on current events to spread their anti-gay message, plans to picket the funeral of Bellevue mom Gloria Koch Leonidas, who was .

The group posted on its website that it plans to be at the St. Demetrios Church in Seattle between 10:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Thursday before heading to the King County Courthouse to protest. They plan to end their protest at St. Demetrios about 15 minutes before the start o f. 

Several organizing events have popped up on Facebook to organize a "shield family and friends of shooting victim" and a "whatever you want to call it against Westboro Baptist Church."

Westboro-counter protesters say that they plan to protest quietly and act as a "buffer" at the funeral.

In specific regard to Gloria Koch Leonidas's funeral, Gloria was not shot at Cafe Racer. She was shot in the subsequent car-jacking on 8th & Seneca. I and others plan to gather with peaceful loving intent in a manner that will shield those attending services from the hateful and inflammatory message of WBC. This a somber, peaceful event that seeks to create safe respectful space for those attending the funeral. We don't want to politicize or even disrupt the funeral if possible.

However, Hank Kerns, funeral director at Sunset Hills Memorial Park and Funeral Home, says that Leonidas' family has requested that all protesters -- both the Westboro protesters and the counter protesters -- be asked to leave.

Kern also says that it's likely that the Westboro church will not show up.

"They always say that, and then they never do," he said. "They like to make a stink, but they never come."

Kern said that in case Westboro does show up, the funeral home has adequate arrangements to deal with the group.

Washington in 2007 made laws protecting funerals from protests.


Venice Buhain June 07, 2012 at 06:54 AM
In accordance with the family's wishes, the organizers have canceled the counter-demonstration.


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