WASHINGTON -- Amid a sea of hundreds of gay marriage supporters, about half a dozen members of the radically anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church stood in front of the Supreme Court on Wednesday, their signs aimed at offending just about everyone: "GOD H8s FAGS." "Thank God For Dead Soldiers." "Fags Doom Nations."
Their ring leader, Fred Phelps Jr., explained why they were in town for the court's oral arguments on the Defense of Marriage Act.
"Any Bible believers who don't show up when this is going on, they might as well get lockjaw and stay home," Phelps told HuffPost.
"You remember what Christ said? Are you able to read?" Phelps said as his voice rose. "It says in the beginning, he made the male and female, and those two shall be one. Not male and male. Not female and female. Not male and dog. Not female and five males."
Phelps had traveled to Washington from Topeka, Kan., earlier this week with eight other members of his church. As HuffPost's Amanda Terkel noted, the Westboro Baptist group were among the relatively few opponents of marriage equality in Wednesday's crowd. More opponents had showed up on Tuesday, when the justices heard argument on California's Proposition 8 and the National Organization for Marriage held a march to the Supreme Court.
As for the particular issue before the justices Wednesday, Phelps said he didn't think he "could care less" how the court rules on DOMA.
What the Supreme Court does is "supremely irrelevant," he said. "We're here to preach. This is a preaching opportunity. We appreciate them creating it."
Asked how he felt being so outnumbered by people in support of marriage equality, Phelps shrugged and then compared himself to Noah and his ark.
"He was outnumbered, wouldn't you say?" Phelps asked. When HuffPost said Noah was definitely outnumbered by animals on his boat, Phelps said he meant humans on the planet at the time. "I've been doing some research, and there were approximately one billion people," he said.
Phelps also compared himself to another Biblical figure, Lot. "He was outnumbered by raging animal sodomites surrounding his house."
So given how Noah and Lot were outnumbered by heathens, Phelps said he "wouldn't expect anything less" outside the Supreme Court.
Members of Phelps' group mentioned it was time to move, so they began walking away, but Phelps shouted back, "Good to see you!"