What is the MFM?
The Million "Fag" March is an annual event held at Gage Park in Topeka, KS near the home of Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church. The March is designed to protest the antics of Phelps and his church, who have become a symbol for the homophobia that remains throughout the United States (find out more about them below).
The main goal of the MFM is to turn the tables, using the very same rights and laws the members of the WBC use to shield themselves. However, the March sends out an opposing message of peace and acceptance for all people. We believe that ignoring a problem will not make it go away, and that we must take advantage of the rights our country gives us to speak up when we see wrong-doing in our communities, cities, and the U.S. as a whole.
Each year brings hundreds of people. The crowd is an extremely diverse mix of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious (and non-religious) affilliation, and political viewpoint that drew national media attention. As we stress the use of peaceful and lawful demonstration, we are able to hold a meaningful event without any negative incident. In fact, the March tends to be as much about fun and friendship as it is about the WBC. One might even call the MFM "family friendly."
Who are Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church?
The Westboro Baptist Church, of Topeka, Kansas, is a hate group masquerading as a Christian church. Led by the Rev. Fred Phelps, the misguided members of this church target WBChomosexuals and a range of others with messages of hate. The churchs outrageous protest actions - the group prefers to picket funerals - have earned Phelps and his ilk much media coverage.
The group also produces music videos (at least one features an extremely young child singing "God hates the world") and maintains Websites with names like GodHatesAmerica and GodHatesFags, designed to inflame the passions of viewers and generate further publicity.
To date, the WBC's protests have taken place in at least 22 states, and have inspired a wave of grassroots anger. As a result, 38 states have introduced bills to limit protests near funerals, and at least 29 of those states have passed such measures. Phelps has vowed to challenge the legislation, alleging that these new restrictions unconstitutionally restrict freedom of speech.
Why do you use the F-word?
Do a few seconds of research on the Westboro church (don't worry, we'll wait). You'll quickly find that if you aren't a member of the WBC you'll be lumped into one of two categories -- "fag" or "fag-enabler". The word is prevelant in everything they do.
We use it to take that word back from the WBC. In short, to say "Hey, Phelps! Those people you try to degrade? Here they are. The hate-speech doesn't work."
That's why we often use quotes around the word. We're actually quoting the WBC.
Admittedly, the name of the Million "Fag" March is controversial. But sometimes it takes a little controversy to get the attention you need. And if it helps, there aren't a million of us, and the marching is minimal.