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Jan. 19 and 20: National Gun Appreciation Day, Westboro Baptist Church Protest

This weekend, two events are hoping to draw crowds for controversial issues: gun rights and LGBTQ rights.

This weekend could be a very divisive day in the Lehigh Valley. 

On Jan. 19, 2013 the first-ever National Gun Appreciation Day is scheduled. Similar to "Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day" from summer 2012, organizers hope that people will show up to support local gun stores and ranges and protest President Obama's new gun policies. 

But that's not all that's happening this weekend. 

According to a press release from the Westboro Baptist Church, members of the church are planning to protest four local churches Jan 20. The press release, which says that the churches are "whorehouses masquerading as churches", including: 

  • St. Paul’s Anglican, 2510 Livingston St.
  • Asbury Church, 1533 Springhouse Rd.
  • Cathedral of St. Catharine, 210 N. 18th St.
  • First Baptist Church, 1808 N. 19th St.

Several Westboro Church counter-protests are planned, including a motorcycle ride against the church, a picketing protest, and a fundraiser that hopes supporters will pledge $1 for every minute the Westboro Baptist Church protests. The funds raised will go to support LGBTQ issues. 

An online petition trying to get the Westboro Baptist Church reclassified as a hate group garnered over 320,000 signatures so far. 

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