Westboro Baptist Descends on San Diego

Church said it planned dozens of protests

Members of a Kansas-based church known for spreading anti-gay and anti-Semitic messages are in San Diego.

The Westboro Baptist Church members plan to visit churches, synagogues and high schools around the county throughout the weekend. On Friday, a group was in Sorrento Valley, carrying signs that read "America Is Doomed" and "God Is your Enemy."

The group on Oberlin Drive was very small. The three adults and three children set up about a half-block away from San Diego Jewish Publications, the group's intended target, according to its Web site.

There were actually more members of the news media present than protesters.

"They're nuts," said Dale Goodman of Mira Mesa, a veteran who waved an American flag as part of a counterprotest, with one participant holding a sign that read, "Go Back to Kansas."

Several other onlookers expressed shock, and passing drivers honked and shouted obscenities at the group.

Elsewhere around the county, three of the adult protesters from Kansas and two of their children showed up in the afternoon across the street from San Diego High School. Hundreds of counterprotesters, many of them from San Diego's gay community, were on the school's side of the street.

The Kansas group, which was ringed by five San Diego police officers,  was hard-pressed to get out their message because they were surrounded by news media. The counterprotesters, due to their sheer numbers, were much louder, playing music and chanting slogans.

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