The notorious Westboro Baptist Church has a new neighbour; a house painted in the gay rainbow flag colours to protest the church’s gay hate message.
The house in Topeka, Kansas – located directly across from the church – was bought by Aaron Jackson, the founder of the non profit group Planting Peace, which operates six orphanages.
“So as I was walking up and down the street, I saw a for-sale sign,” Jackson told MSNBC.
“I thought, ‘That would be interesting, to buy the home in front of the poster child of gay hate.’ About two seconds later I decided I would paint that house the colour of the pride flag.”
The organisation will use the house as a base for its work supporting equality and anti-bullying initiatives.
“For too long, the Westboro Baptist Church has been targeting the LGBTQ community with messages of hate and discrimination,” said Planting Peace on its website.
“… the House is a symbol of equality, peace, and positive change. The house, which is painted the colours of the Pride flag, will serve as the resource centre for all Planting Peace equality and anti-bullying initiatives and will stand as a visual reminder of our commitment, as global citizens, to equality for all,” stated the group.
On Monday, the house was pictured with a snowman ‘holding’ rainbow flags to mark the historic two day hearings by the US Supreme Court on same-sex marriage that are set to begin on Tuesday. Jackson is also in the picture with the flag of US LGBT rights group the Human Rights Campaign.
The church responded to the house on its website by declared that “the Sodomite Rainbow house is another instance where someone has declared their sin as Sodom…”
It added: “You can paint rainbows on every house in America and homosexuality will still be an abominable sin in the eyes of God”.
The Westboro Baptist Church, run by Fred Phelps and his family, is known for its virulently anti-gay campaigns asserting that “God hates fags”, picketing at gay friendly events and even demonstrating at funerals of US soldiers who were killed in action.
Last year, Advocate magazine named Phelps one the 45 worst homophobes in the world.