RICHMOND, Va. -- Hundreds of counter-protesters turned out at the state capitol and on the Monroe Campus of Virginia Commonwealth University Monday morning to protest a visit from the controversial Westboro Baptist Church.
A small group of the Kansas congregation stood behind steel barricades and held up anti-gay, anti-abortion and anti-transgender signs while surrounded by Richmond Police.
The group was specifically protesting Delegate Danica Roem, the state’s first openly transgender elected official.
They were met by counter-protesters, including Lamb Of God frontman and Virginia native Randy Blythe.
“It was a good excuse to get everyone out here,” Blythe said. "Plus, Danica is my friend and I wasn't real happy that these people are coming out here to bad mouth her, even though she's in Manassas today. They're morons."
Blythe and the counter-protesters were armed with kazoos and noisemakers to drown out the church's message.
Before coming to Richmond, Westboro Baptist church members protested in West Point where a teacher was recently fired for not calling a transgendered student by their preferred pronoun.