Westboro Baptist Church at the UN
in 2008 (Pic: David Shankbone)
Fred Phelps’ notoriously homophobic Westboro Baptist Church in the US has said that it will travel to Britain to protest the staging of a gay-themed play.
The radical church, despite having less than 100 members, has caused an international stir over its hate-filled protests at the funerals of American soldiers with placards with slogans such as “God Hates Fags”.
Founded by Pastor Fred Phelps, members – many of whom are related to him – believe that the war in Iraq and other national woes are God’s punishment for America “supporting” homosexuality.
Now the group has said that it will picket the staging of The Laramie Project at Queen Mary’s College, in Basingstoke Hampshire, England on Friday. The play details the 1998 homophobic murder of gay student Matthew Shepard near Laramie, Wyoming, in the US.
“God hates the Queen Mary’s College, and the fag-infested UK, England, and all having to do with spreading sodomite lies via The Laramie Project, this tacky bit of cheap fag propaganda masquerading as legitimate theater,” said the church in its flyer promoting the picket.
It goes on to say: “Matt Shepard has been in Hell now for ten years, with eternity left to go on his sentence – without appeal, parole, or time off for good behavior. All else about Matt is trivial and irrelevant. Deal with it, you stupid Brits. You’ll join Matt Shepard soon. GOD HATES ENGLAND.”
While some activists have called for the group to be banned from protesting under Britain’s anti-hate laws, others have expressed doubt that the protestors will actually turn up.
If the picket takes place, it will be the first time that the church will have staged a protest outside North America.
The group announced on its website, godhatesfags.com, that it is also planning a picket outside the “sodomite” Academy Awards ceremony in Hollywood on Sunday.