In a press release sent Sunday, April 13, the Westboro Baptist Church announced it would picket Colorado State University’s graduation ceremonies on May 17.
Protesters will gather from 4:15 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the corner of W. Plum Street and Meridian Avenue. The Westboro Baptist Church became well-known after protesting military funerals.
The release stated that “God h8s Ram fan brats,” and wrote that students at graduation will “puff out their chests as though they’ve accomplished something, then go off and get stupid-drunk and rape and fornicate.”
According to Mike Hooker, director of public relations at CSU, the University recognizes the planned protest and said the protesters are within their rights to demonstrate on the public sidewalk.
“We respect their right to free speech,” Hooker said.
According to previous press releases, Westboro Baptist Church also protested at CSU and the Chabad Jewish Center in Fort Collins in 2010.
A student-run Facebook group plans on counter-protesting the church. More than 850 people have already planned on attending the event, according to the Facebook page.