Fear not, raging homophobes ... when the first openly gay man to play in the NCAA tournament takes the court in Denver Thursday, the a-holes from the Westboro Baptist Church have vowed to be there to picket.
Seton Hall's Derrick Gordon went public about his sexual orientation roughly 2 years ago ... but this is the first year he'll be playing in the biggest tournament in college basketball as an openly gay man.
Most people are hailing it as a triumph ... but the Westboro Baptist Church says it's an abomination.
"Satan-inspired media loves to stoke his rebellion, but we'll protest @marchmadness for Derrick Gordon," the church tweeted.
So far, Gordon hasn't responded -- seems he's too busy focused on the actual game.