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Antigay leader
condemns antigay preacher

Antigay leader
condemns antigay preacher

Gay-hating Kansas preacher Fred Phelps's latest antics--picketing at the funerals of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq--have even some of the staunchest antigay activists in the United States denouncing him. Last week Phelps and members of his Westboro Baptist Church announced plans to picket the funeral of marine gunnery sergeant Terry Ball in East Peoria, Ill. The Phelps clan has been demonstrating at military funerals for a month, claiming that deaths in Iraq are God's retribution for America's tolerance of homosexuality.

After Phelps was an apparent no-show at Ball's funeral, the antigay Illinois Family Institute took the opportunity to blast the Topeka-based preacher as an "opportunist" preaching a "false Gospel." Institute director Peter LaBarbera said in a statement that Phelps's message "fuels societal bigotry" against "pro-family" groups like his. LaBarbera even noted that Phelps makes such an "easy target" for the media to "paint any opposition to 'gay rights' as hateful," that he has "sometimes wondered if Phelps and his lawyerly clan are 'gay plants.'" (Sirius/OutQ)

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