Fred Phelps’ anti-gay church coming to Atlanta

Members of Fred Phelps’ Westboro Baptist Church are headed to Atlanta this week to protest a variety of sites, including Jewish events and three local high schools.

Westboro Baptist Church plans Atlanta protests
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The church, based in Topeka, Kan., routinely pickets around the nation. Its “God Hates Fags” mantra made national headlines when church members, who are mostly Phelps and his family, picketed the funeral of slain gay Wyoming college student Matthew Shepard.

Since then, the Phelps clan has also made news for picketing the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq, claiming that the United States is a sinful nation.

Students at Atlanta’s Grady High School, one of the targets of Phelps’ protest, are already planning their response.

The Grady counter-protest is set for 3:15 p.m. until 6 p.m. on May 6. The students say they plan to collect donations for AID Atlanta and the Human Rights Campaign during the protest.

When Phelps recently protested a same-sex marriage forum at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, his contingent of six was met by more than 500 counter-protesters, according to the Des Moines Register.

On May 5, Westboro Baptist Church is scheduled to protest at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, Douglass High School, the Jewish Georgian, the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta and a Cinco de Mayo party and concert at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre.

In addition to protesting at Grady High School on May 6, the church is slated to protest Druid Hills High School, Emory University Hillel and the Selig Center (Jewish Federation of Atlanta).