Country singer Vince Gill isn't afraid to confront the Westboro Baptist Church head-on, and that's exactly what he did when members from the hate group decided to protest his Missouri concert over the weekend.
On Sunday, Sept. 8, Gill stepped outside at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Mo., to face down some Westboro Baptist Church members gathered on the sidewalk. The hate group purportedly decided to protest Gill's concert because he is a divorced man who remarried, Country Music Television noted.
The 56-year-old musician was once married to Sweethearts of the Rodeo singer Janis Oliver. After their 1998 divorce, he married Christian singer Amy Grant in 2000. Grant, who has offered support to her gay fanbase, was previously married to Christian musician Gary Chapman.
"Vince Gill, what in the world are you doing out here?" a WBC member can be heard asking, in a video of the confrontation uploaded to YouTube. "But, more importantly, what are you doing with another man's wife?"
"I came out to see what hatred really looked like in the face," Gill responded.
"Don't you know that divorce plus remarriage equals adultery?" she asked.
"Don't you know that you f**kers are lucky that you don't have a sign that says something about my wife?" Gill asked. "You know what else [Jesus Christ] said? He said a lot of stuff about forgiveness, about grace. You guys don't have any of that."
Gill then called another picketer a "big dips**t" and later asked if they are the Phelpses or just "the C Team."
On Sunday, the group also protested outside a Michael Buble concert. Its GodHatesFags website reveals the group has picketing plans at several places over the next two months, including a Mumford & Sons concert on Sept. 20 and two Florida high schools in October.
Westboro is about to get a protest of its own. Nonprofit group Planting Peace announced that in October it will be staging a drag show at the Equality House in Topeka, Kan., to draw attention to the anti-gay group and raise money for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality. The Westboro Baptist Church compound is set to be in the center of the parade.
Watch Gill's confrontation below.
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The Westboro Baptist Church first gained national notice at the <a href="http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/wyoming/article_fa10936e-cb5b-5170-afd8-e7eaa0a43aa8.html" target="_hplink">funeral of Matthew Shepard</a> who had been robbed, brutally beaten and left to die in Laramie, Wyoming.
The Westboro Baptist Church threatened to picket <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/06/westboro-baptist-church-steve-jobs-funeral_n_998032.html" target="_hplink">Steve Jobs' funeral</a> but called it off when the memorial service was held privately.
The Westboro Baptist Church picketed Elizabeth Edwards' funeral after she <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/09/elizabeth-edwards-funeral-westboro-baptist-church_n_794333.html" target="_hplink">died of cancer</a>.
The Westboro Baptist Church protested Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder after he had died serving his country in Iraq. The protest of the hate group went all the way to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/29/father-of-dead-marine-ord_n_517614.html" target="_hplink">the Supreme Court</a>.
While it is not clear that the hate group ever got there they declared their intent in this charming YouTube Video staring the head hater himself who tells the people of Norway -- <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PC3K9ZoU7So" target="_hplink">God Sent the Shooter</a>. Read more about it <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/04/westboro-baptists-church-norway_n_917388.html" target="_hplink">here</a>.
Illinois Holocaust Museum
The Westboro Baptist Church protested the Illinois Holocaust Museum <a href="http://skokie.patch.com/articles/update-westboro-baptist-church-protest-at-holocaust-museum" target="_hplink">on the eve of Rosh Hashanah</a>
The Westboro Baptist Church picketed the funerals of victims of Tucson shootings. They agreed not to picket the 9 year old Christina Taylor Green i<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/12/westboro-baptist-church-arizona-funerals_n_808088.html" target="_hplink">n exchange for air time</a> on a local radio show.
Westboro Baptist Church picketed the funeral of recording artist Michael Jackson. Members of Westboro have also recorded a song titled "<a href="http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2422138213120376038" target="_hplink">God Hates the World</a>," an adaptation of Jackson's charity single, "We Are the World."
President Obama Joplin, Missouri after the Tornado
The Westboro Baptist Church protested in tornado devastated Joplin, Missouri <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2011/may/29/nation/la-na-obama-joplin-missouri-20110530" target="_hplink">when President Obama visited</a>.
Foo Fighters Fight Back
Read more about it <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/18/foo-fighters-westboro-baptist-church_n_968395.html" target="_hplink">The Foo Fighters vs. Westboro</a>.