Nathan Phelps, the exiled son of hatemonger Fred Phelps, says the 84-year-old founder of the Westboro Baptist Church is near death in a Kansas hospice.
Nathan, who left the Phelps compound as a teen in 1976 and has been a vocal ally to the LGBT community, wrote on Facebook Saturday night:
I’ve learned that my father, Fred Phelps, Sr., pastor of the “God Hates Fags” Westboro Baptist Church, was ex-communicated from the “church” back in August of 2013. He is now on the edge of death at Midland Hospice house in Topeka, Kansas.
I’m not sure how I feel about this. Terribly ironic that his devotion to his god ends this way. Destroyed by the monster he made.
I feel sad for all the hurt he’s caused so many. I feel sad for those who will lose the grandfather and father they loved. And I’m bitterly angry that my family is blocking the family members who left from seeing him, and saying their good-byes.
Nathan also reports that his father was excommunicated from the WBC in August 2013: “I only have hearsay on the reason, and two different versions, so I won’t comment at this point, other than to say he was moved into another house and watched over so he wouldn’t harm himself.”
Fred Phelps and members of his family have pushed a rabidly homophobic agenda for decades, picketing the funerals of gay men, soldiers and anyone else they believe is not aligned with their “God Hates Fags” ideology.
Ironically, the WBC has sparked a powerful counter force—from concerned allies blocking them from view at funerals, to the creation of Equality House, an LGBT resource center right across the street from the Phelps compound.
The Church has made no public comment about Fred Phelps’ health or his status with the WBC.
Jason Collins, the first out player in the NBA, was officially signed on Saturday to the Brooklyn Nets for the remainder of the season. “It’s cool. Thank you to the Nets organization, coaches and players, the team is playing really well right now, and I’m glad to continue to be here,’ Collins said.
Collins, 34, first signed a 10-day contract in February and re-signed for another 10 days this month. According to NBA rules, the Nets had to either offer Collins a full contract or cut him loose.
Nets management has maintained their decision to bring on Collins was based on performance, not politics. ’We always focused on basketball—We let you guys do all the other stuff. But having him on the team was always about basketball,” said coach Jason Kidd.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has announced that health insurance companies must cover the same-sex spouses of gay clients by 2015.
Starting next year, if an insurance company offers coverage to opposite-sex spouses, it cannot choose to deny that coverage to same-sex spouses. In other words, insurance companies will not be permitted to discriminate against married same-sex couples when offering coverage. This will further enhance access to health care for all Americans, including those with same-sex spouses.
Maybe by then we’ll have marriage equality in all 50 states?
A federal judge has issued a temporary restraining order preventing Tennessee from enforcing its ban on recognizing legal same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.
While the injunction only affects the three couples who filed suit, it has big implications for the future of same-sex marriage.
U.S. District Court Judge Aleta Trauger wrote in her ruling that “all signs indicate that, in the eyes of the United States Constitution, the plaintiffs’ marriages will be placed on an equal footing with those of heterosexual couples and that proscriptions against same-sex marriage will soon become a footnote in the annals of American history.”
Attorney Abby Rubenfeld, who is representing the plaintiffs, called it a “huge win” for Tennessee that “sets the stage for full marriage equality in this state.”
A representative for Governor Bill Haslam, however, stated that “the governor is disappointed that the court has stepped in when Tennesseans have voted clearly on this issue.”