The virulently homophobic Westboro Baptist Church (WBC), run by the notorious Fred Phelps, has said that it will picket Heath Ledger’s funeral and memorial services in the US because the actor starred in the gay -themed film Brokeback Mountain.

According to a media release on the church’s vitriol-filled website,, “WBC will picket this pervert’s funeral, in religious protest and warning…”

It goes on to say, “Heath Ledger thought it was great fun defying God Almighty and his plain word; to wit: God Hates Fags! & Fag Enablers! Ergo, God hates the sordid tacky, bucket of slime seasoned with vomit known as ‘Brokeback Mountain’ – and He hates all persons having anything whatsoever to do with it.”

“Heath Ledger is now in Hell, and has begun serving his eternal sentence there,” says WBC.

The radical church has a very public history of picketing the funerals of people connected to or supportive of gays and lesbians in any way.

Most controversially it has protested at the funerals of American soldiers who have died in Iraq because its members believe that their deaths are punishment for the country’s tolerance of gays and lesbians.

Meanwhile, the authorities have revealed that a rolled up $20 note found near Ledger’s body did not contain traces of illegal drugs.

An autopsy has proved inconclusive as to the cause of the actor’s death and further results will only be known in around two weeks. It is thought that Ledger died of an overdose of prescription medication.

There has been speculation around why Diana Wolozin, the masseuse that found Ledger’s body, twice made phone calls to actress Mary-Kate Olsen before calling the emergency services. The New York Post now claims that the massage therapist called Olsen because the actress was dating Ledger at the time of his death.

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