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Appearing on HLN's Issues With Jane Velez-Mitchell, Fred Phelps's son Nate discussed his family's heinous actions and detailed the horrific abuse he and his siblings were subjected to by their father.
Nate Phelps said his homophobic family, which often pickets the funerals of fallen soldiers because they claim military deaths are punishment for America's tolerance of gays, has done both good and bad for LGBT people. Fred Phelps is "one of the best reasons that America has been forced to get off the fence and address the issue [of gay rights]," Nate told Velez-Mitchell. "But at the same time you can't ignore the fact that he's done a lot of damage. He's hurt a lot of families, not only in the gay community, but the families of these soldiers."
Nate, the seventh of Phelps's 13 children, said his father beat his mother and the kids, using the back of a pick-like digging tool on the children until they bled. Nate has been estranged from his family since the age of 18.