A rally and counter-protest in support of the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre’s production of “The Laramie Project” at the Arthur Miller Theater on the North Campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor will be held starting at 6 p.m. May 8.
The rally is being organized by the Michigan Democratic Party LGBT and Allied Caucus, the UM LGBT Commission and the UM Stonewall Democrats in response to the announced presence of Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church and “God hates fags” notoriety.
“The Laramie Project,” a play by Moises Kaurman, tells the story of University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepherd, who was murdered in 1998 in Laramie, Wyo., in a hate crime committed against him for being gay. The play has been performed at numerous schools, colleges and professional playhouses across the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Canada, England and Ireland. Phelps has been known to call on his church members to protest performances of the play. In response, many use his opposition to fundraise and create their own support for the production.
The May 8 counter-protest will begin on the north side of the Arthur Miller Theater building, located at 1226 Murfin. Speakers will include Christopher Armstrong, the first openly gay UM student government president, Alex Woodruff of the UM Stonewall Democrats and LGBT and Allied Caucus Chair Phil Volk. Following the speakers, the rally will march around the building to the site of Rev. Phelps’ protest.
An effort is also being made to sell out the production as a second means of protesting Phelps.
For more information, visit http://www.mdplgbt.org.