Fred Phelps, ‘God Hates Fags’ Preacher, Dead at 84

Fred Phelps, 'God Hates Fags' Preacher, Dead at 84

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Controversial religious figure protested gay pride events, funerals

Rev. Fred Phelps Sr., the Westboro Baptist Church founder who was a fierce critic of the gay rights movement,  died Thursday, his son Tim Phelps told Kansas First News. He was  84.

A spokesman for the Kansas-based church could not immediately be reached for comment.

Phelps and the independent Baptist Church he launched were frequently involved with protests of political events, gay pride rallies and the funerals of celebrities, military figures and any other high-profile people he identified with gay, lesbian and transgender causes. His targets included  film critic Roger Ebert, actor Heath Ledger, Princess Diana and President Ronald Reagan.

Also read: Rupert Murdoch Wants Guinness Boycott, Says Gay Groups ‘Bullied’ Beer Company

The group's slogan, ”God hates fags,” was incorporated into its website, social media pages and the signs that Phelps’ followers carried.  His belief that the Bible condemned homosexuality, led him to make a series of controversial statements such as when he labeled Matthew Shepard, a 21-year old Wyoming man beaten to death in 1998 because he was gay, “that little fag.”

Phelps was a relentless publicity seeker; one whose quest for the limelight prompted him to seek  public office four times in failed races for governor and U.S. Senator.

He also inspired a landmark Supreme Court decision in 2011 related to First Amendment, when the court ruled that his organization's right to free speech and to gather publicly prevented it from being sued by the families of the people whose funerals the Westboro Church protested.



  • Jimmy

    It's cruel to say, but the world is a better place without him. If only his hate-filled “church” would fall into the pits of hell where it belongs.

  • LH

    Awww, what a shame! Oh well, at least Satan will have somebody to annoy the hell out of him!

    • hupto

      Are you kidding? Satan doesn't want him anywhere near the place! :-D

  • cate

    thank you so much the wrap for for wasting time on this vs a number of real editorial choices you could have made highlighting people who who have contributed positively to our entertainement community. as usual a quick pander is the easiest out…

    • dannyjude63

      This group protested and picketed like fools at many, many concerts, events, and funerals, of celebrities. It is most definitely noteworthy in the entertainment community. So, what's your prob?

  • Jim

    In honor of his passing, I am listening to “The Gay Divorcee” (radio version) starring Frank Sinatra on Radio Classics – SirusXM 82

  • ahrmann

    They just announced Phelps is protesting his own funeral.

  • Newzheimer

    As my sainted mother always used to say, “You should only speak good of the dead. He's dead. Good.’

  • SoCalGuy

    Hopefully his funeral will be picketed too.

  • cthulu48

    GOOD RIDDANCE YOU EVIL M.F.!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope your funeral is protested in kind by the families of every person that had a funeral protested by this evil, evil maniac. REST IN HELL!!!

  • GOD

    And God rejoices now that you're dead.

    This will be the last publicity you'll ever get.

    No one cares about your bigotry anymore, except for the poor uneducated religious souls you were able to brainwash with your hatred.

    RIH – rot in hell.

  • The Great Seymour(Butz)

    i would wish that a bunch of gay,black,men,women, fetuses would picket his funeral