WASHINGTON – From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the last 55 days, Christine Weick, 51, an author from Grand Rapids, Mich., has stood on the steps of the Supreme Court behind a sign almost as big as she is.
In white lettering on a red background, the sign says “WARNING!” and promises “WOE” to those who support same-sex marriage.
Weick, a former Avon saleswoman who has written a book about the book of Revelation in the Bible, said she is not leaving until the court issues an opinion on marriage equality in the case Obergefell v. Hodges.
“Out of 100 people, 80 percent ignore me, 10 give me a middle finger or curse words, the other 10 are supportive and give me a thumbs up,” Weick said.
Weick made her sign three years ago when she protested for 14 days in Michigan as she waited for a ruling in the DeBoer v. Snyder marriage equality case. Now the case, centering on a lesbian couple’s right to adopt each others’ children, is one of the six cases included in Obergefell.
“It is so ironic that the case is one of those in the Supreme Court case. I don’t know. This sign has had a lot of use,” Weick said.
She stood calmly by Thursday as multiple news stations waited nearby for the release of the day’s opinions. Weick took video on her phone as another protester was arrested after yelling at the media. She posed for photos with tourists and chatted with a man eating lunch nearby.
The court ruled on six cases Thursday, not including gay marriage. It is scheduled to rule on additional cases Friday and June 29.
“I try to avoid anger because that is not me. Calling people names is not going to spread the word of Jesus Christ,” Weick said.
Standing silently has not always been Weick’s approach. When she first started protesting, she yelled at people passing by. In November she interrupted a private, interfaith prayer service at the Washington National Cathedral by sneaking in and yelling, “Leave our churches alone.”
“I thought I would raise the Bible, but I never got anyone to come and talk,” Weick said.
Now Weick follows the motto, “Speak softly, speak kindly, speak with love.” However, that does not mean speaking with people is always easy for Weick.
“I still struggle with the snarky remarks. I am learning slowly,” she said.
One thing Weick has learned is to use a camera for protection. On the top left side of her sign sits a small camera. The control is clipped to the outside of her pants pocket. She uses it to record verbal threats such as “I am going to kill you when you are done.”
However, she does not believe the camera is her main form of protection.
“I understand God protects me,” Weick said. “He has called me to be here.”
Weick does not affiliate with a particular denomination of Christianity but said she believes God called her to protest. She considers her work a ministry rather than a protest.
“I am out here because this is a petition to the court,” Weick said. “It makes an impact. This is my obedience to what God says for me to do.”
Reach reporter Sarah Fulton at [email protected] or 202-408-1492. SHFWire stories are free to any news organization that gives the reporter a byline and credits SHFWire. Like the Scripps Howard Foundation Wire interns on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
Download photos: SCOTUS-PROTEST-6-18.zip