Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, known for its vocal condemnations of homosexuality, website GodHatesFags.com and picketing of gay pride parades and funerals, has sustained thousands of dollars in damage after a fire early Saturday morning. Impromptu protest followed as firefighters carried out their response.
"None of what they do is going to stop us from delivering our message," said Shirley Phelps-Roper, sister of Fred and the church's counsel, of any "cowards" that would have set the fire on purpose, also saying that it was the "most aggressive act" towards the Phelps family to date.
"There is evidence that hatred of our religion was the motivation, in part at least," states a "Civil Rights Hate Crime Complaint" written by pastor Fred Phelps Sr. to Attorney General Michael Mukasey.
The cause of the fire has not been determined. No picketing signs were harmed.