Teen makes 'I Love Gays' protest, urges others in Oregon town to join
A 16-year-old teenager in Tillamook, Oregon, who held an "I Love Gays" sign alongside two men who were brandishing placards calling homosexuality sin, and calling on people to repent, has now gone further and called on others in her town to join her counter-protest.
Last May 19, Makaila Ragan said she saw two men carrying signs "Homo Sex Is Sin" and "Jesus Said Unless You All Repent You Will Likewise Perish" outside her mother's workplace.
She decided to combat their protest with one of her own and went alongside them with her own placard stating "I love gays".
"I was so irritated because I see them all around town and all they ever do is make people feel like crap about themselves," Ragan, a junior at Tillamook High School, told the Tillamook County Pioneer.
She added, "I went inside and asked her and her boss if it would be all right if I made a poster that stands up for what I believe in. They were totally all for it. So I made a sign that said, 'I love Gays.'"
When she stood alongside the men, she claims they started insulting her.
"They were calling me names, and asking my mom questions, like, 'How many times did you have to get an abortion before you were able to have your daughter?' and saying, 'You're going to burn in hell right along with your daughter.' The things they were saying were just awful, but I didn't let them faze me," she said.
Shortly after, people started coming with signs while others provided food and drinks.
"More people started showing up with signs, and then people started bringing food. One lady brought flowers and another man gave us money and told us to all go buy drinks or something," Ragan said.
Julie McNutt took a photo of Ragan and the two men and posted it on Facebook, which became viral. She also started a Facebook group called "Tillamook For Love."
"This group is all about love and unity," McNutt posted on Facebook, adding that "we are all about positivity. Please keep it kind and loving or your comment will be deleted."
The group now has more than 2,800 members.