Kansas

Group erects ‘God Loves Gays’ billboard in ‘God Hates Fags’ hometown

The first "God Loves Gays" billboard was erected earlier this month in Topeka, Kan,, home of the Westboro Baptist Church. Staff Reports

The "God Loves Gays" billboard, located near 21st Street and Western Ave., in Topeka.

The “God Loves Gays” billboard, located near 21st Street and Western Ave., in Topeka.

TOPEKA, Kan. — Organizers behind the website “God Loves Gay People” and the Facebook page “God,” have erected a billboard Topeka, Kan. — home to the virulently anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church — proclaiming that “God Loves Gays.”

The billboard, which went up Monday and is located about 3 miles southeast of the Westboro Baptist Church compound, is the product of an online funding campaign that has raised more than $82,000 toward countering Westboro’s “God hates fags” and “God hates America” messaging.

The individuals behind the campaign, who to-date have remained anonymous, say the billboard cost approximately $50,000 and will be up for one year or “perhaps much longer.”

The group says it has also donated $10,000 of its funding to the The Trevor Project, an LGBT youth suicide prevention hotline, and plans to donate an additional $10,000 to the National Alliance to End Homelessness. Both donations were part of the campaign’s “stretch goals” if it received more than the initial $50,000.

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Additional funds will be used for bus ads, and a possible second billboard in Salt Lake City, Utah, if the group reaches a total of $100,000 in donations.

Shirley Phelps-Roper, a spokesperson for the Westboro Baptist Church responded to the billboard, telling Mashable in an email:

“Thank God for that lying billboard! Every soul that sees it will either rejoice for the lie and the vain hope of afflicting the servants of God at WBC. Or, they will sigh and mourn for that awful sin and all the parts of it, knowing that every single soul that weighed in with money or words, in favor of that lying billboard, will stand before God in the Judgment, so very ashamed. Knowing also, that when they stand before God in the judgment, it will be TOO LATE for repentance, and eternal torment will follow.”

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