Members of a controversial church have been in town all weekend because of the Episcopal Church General Convention being held in Austin. Westboro Baptist Church, known for their strong stance against the LGBTQ community have fundamental disagreements with the Episcopal's in that respect but they were out-numbered by counter-protesters Sunday morning.
Members who attend locally the episcopal church and support the LGBTQ community gathered in front of the All Saints' Episcopal Church ready to spread the word of acceptance.
"It's about not being judgmental. Judge not less you be judged. It's about god is love. I think doors close when the message of hate is spread. It shuts down dialog and openness any opportunity for us to come together as a united and inclusive loving people," said Marrillee Archer who attends All Saints' Church.
Jessica Grace said her parents and family have been attending All Saints' Episcopal Church for years and said she stands behind acceptance and compassion. "Inclusion including people that's how we are going to change the world not through violence or anger or meanness," said Grace.
Dozens of supporters stood behind a rainbow of signs with messages.
A message that didn't sit well with members of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church.
The Topeka, Kansas-based Baptist Church is widely known for its use of inflammatory hate speech, especially against LGBTQ individuals. Members said their protesting against the episcopal church because they're encouraging "sin" by supporting and accepting people from LGBTQ community. "Encouraging the sin of sodomy all kinds of things that the bible speaks against," said Leeann Phelps member of Westboro Baptist Church.
"Man shall not lie with men is an abomination so you got these people calling themselves a church marrying homosexual as an example and to say that god loves everybody when he clearly does not."
All Saints' Episcopal Church Reverend Michael Adams said the LGBTQ community is welcomed with open arms and hearts. "We love everybody and particularly those being targeted today in the LGBT community and we hope they feel that love and support," said Reverend Adams.
Should the protest get out of hand, Austin Police Commander Michael Eleleth said his special response team is ready. "They tend to incite people and so we are here just to make sure that doesn't happen that everybody keeps their cool they get to express their first amendment right other people get to do the same. We also have our bicycle public order team and that's a team that's part of our detact or downtown area command," said Eleleth.