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Westboro Planned to Protest an NBA Team — but What They Encountered on the Ground Reportedly Sent Them Fleeing

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"The Portland Trail Blazers punched the Lord Jesus Christ in the face."

Westboro Baptist Church protesters were likely in for more than they bargained for on Saturday when their planned picket outside of a Portland Trail Blazers game was met by a massive group of boisterous counterprotesters.

After about 20 members of the infamous anti-gay church arrived at Moda Center in Portland, Oregon, to lambaste the team's support for same-sex marriage, hundreds of their opponents were already on site ready to greet them, according to the Oregonian.

The two sides unsurprisingly clashed, with the situation seeming tense at moments; one counter protester reportedly tried to grab one of Westboro's placards and others screamed at the church members, telling them to "get out."

Video footage purporting to capture the incident shows people following church members back to their vehicle, with countless protesters surrounding the van and screaming as Westboro members attempted to drive away.

Watch counter-protesters battle against Westboro below (caution: language and content warning):

Westboro had reportedly intended to protest for 75 minutes, but only stayed on site for about 20 minutes before leaving due to the pushback, with KOIN-TV reporting that the counterinitiative "overwhelmed" the anti-gay protesters.

The church had announced its plans to protest at the Trail Blazers game in a press release on its website earlier this month, citing the NBA team's open endorsement of gay marriage last year as its main reason for picketing.

"The Portland Trail Blazers punched the Lord Jesus Christ in the face," she statement read, in part.

The counterprotest appeared to be comprised of people with differing reasons for pushing back at Westboro — a small church based in Topeka, Kansas, that is also known for protesting soldiers' funerals, among other events.

"We are all about love. Do not come into our city and say that God hates us," said protester Chris Ross. "He does not.”

Then there was Scott Ruddock, a former military member, who spoke out against the anti-gay group.

"They picketed my friends’ funerals with slander and lies," Ruddock told KOIN-TV.

This incident is reminiscent of an event last year in which thousands of residents in Moore, Oklahoma, purportedly sent Westboro members fleeing during a similar picket.

(H/T: Oregonian)

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