Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling was one of many celebrating Ireland’s historic vote to legalize same sex weddings last month. One of her tweets in particular, proposing a wedding between Dumbledore and Gandalf in Ireland, caught the eye of the Westboro Baptist Church. Keen to demonstrate their brilliant sense of humor, Westboro tweeted back an image replete with their typically vitriolic language, and a threat to protest such a wedding if ever it occurred.
So how do you respond to such a hate-filled attempt at humor?
You out-troll them, obviously.
At least, that was the solution that Planting Peace (a progressive non-profit group) came up with this past weekend, when they staged a wedding of the two wizards at the Equality House — the rainbow-colored house right across from Westboro Baptist.
As promised, the two fictional characters, played by hired actors, wed one another on Sunday, June 7 at the Equality House, which is painted the colors of the rainbow flag and regularly holds fundraisers to support the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.
The event was organized by Planting Peace in “order to raise money to counter the hateful messages of the Westboro Baptist Church.” And organizers seem to have had a lot of fun with the project — as well as making some solid, sensible choices like with their selection of ring bearer (Frodo, obviously).
There’s no word whether the ring exchange involved Rings of Power, or rings of the more ordinary type. Still, by all accounts, everyone had a magical time watching the wizards’ wedding — except for the Westboro Baptist folks, who mostly sat the event out.
Despite threats of picketing the nuptial and even revving a van engine during vows, no Westboro Baptist Church member made herself or himself visible throughout the day. Apart from adding a few more picket signs than typical to their repertoire, the group stuck to Twitter and kept their voices from being audible by those partaking in the wizard matrimony.
Equality House seems to have found the perfect response to WBC’s trolling — better trolling. And it had the happy effect of quieting Westboro for a bit.
I guess miracles do happen!