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More than 100,000 people have signed a “We the People” petition at The White House website to “Legally recognize Westboro Baptist Church as a hate group.”
Westboro Baptist Church is a tiny group of anti-gay extremists from Kansas notorious for protesting at the funerals of dead soldiers and gay people, and its headed by pastor Fred Phelps.
The petition comes on the heels of Westboro Baptist declaring its intent to picket at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, the site of the horrific shooting tragedy on Friday.
Organizers of the petition, not listed on The White House page, wrote:
This group has been recognized as a hate group by organizations, such as The Southern Poverty Law Center, and has repeatedly displayed the actions typical of hate groups.
Their actions have been directed at many groups, including homosexuals, military, Jewish people and even other Christians. They pose a threat to the welfare and treatment of others and will not improve without some form of imposed regulation.
SDGLN media partner LGBTQ Nation filed this late Sunday:
The Westboro Baptist Church, home of anti-gay extremists and the "Gods Hate Fags" fundamentalist movement, announced via Twitter on Sunday plans to picket at the scene of the Newtown, Conn., elementary school shooting that occurred Friday.
Shirley Phelps-Roper, daughter of WBC founder and pastor Fred Phelps, tweeted Sunday, "Westboro will picket Sandy Hook Elementary School to sing praise to God for the glory of his work in executing his judgment."
It is unclear if WBC members will actually be present, as the group is known for planning pickets and then not showing up, as they did after the Aurora, Colo., shooting earlier this year.
The internet hacker collective known as Anonymous was swift to respond to WBC's announcement by bringing down the group's "God Hates Fags" website, and subsequently released private information of Westboro members, including email addresses, phone numbers and home addresses.
Based in Topeka, Kan., the Westboro church is not affiliated with the Baptist denomination or any other Baptist church. According to news reports, almost all of its members — fewer than 100 — are related to founder Fred Phelps either by blood or marriage.
The hate group is best known for its protest of the funerals of U.S. service members, and first came into the national spotlight in 1998, when it picketed at the funeral of Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old gay man who was brutally attacked on the night of October 6, 1998, then tied to a fence and left to die.
To visit LGBTQ Nation, a content partner with SDGLN, click HERE.