When Panic! At The Disco heard that Westboro Baptist Church protesters were planning on picketing their concert in Kansas City, Missouri, over the weekend, the glam-rockers decided to turn the protestors’ display of hate into a fundraiser for love.
On Sunday, the band told its 660,000-plus Twitter followers that for every WBC protester that showed up, Panic would donate $20 to Human Rights Campaign, an LGBT advocacy group.
— Panic! At The Disco (@PanicAtTheDisco) July 20, 2014
In the end, 13 Westboro Baptist Church protesters picketed Panic's Sunday concert, bearing signs with phrases like “God Hates Fag Enablers” and “God Hates Sluts.” The quasi-religious group, which last week released a homophobic parody of one of the band's hit songs, added on Twitter that picketers were joined by “myriads of angels.”
— Westboro Baptist (@WBCSays) July 21, 2014
Panic frontman Brendon Urie, who has spoken publicly about his sexual fluidity, was not impressed. Responding on Twitter to the WBC, the band called the protest “weak” and promised to donate $1,000 to the Human Rights Campaign. The band's website also said Panic donated 5 percent of its total merchandise sales from the Kansas City show.
— Panic! At The Disco (@PanicAtTheDisco) July 21, 2014
Westboro Baptist Church, described as a "homophobic and anti-Semitic hate group" by the Anti-Defamation League, regularly stages protests around the country and has picketed the funerals of soldiers, celebrities and shooting victims.