03/26/2002

Homophobic Hate Group Pickets SPLC

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Fred Phelps, operator of the notorious "God Hates Fags" Web site, sent his followers here March 25-26 to picket opponents of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore. Among his targets was the Southern Poverty Law Center, which includes Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church in its annual list of hate groups.

In a recent child custody case, Moore labeled homosexuality "an inherent evil" and alluded to the execution of gays and lesbians. Phelps agrees with Moore and calls Moore's opponents "God's enemies."

"Justice Moore and Fred Phelps are cut from the same cloth," said Richard Cohen, the Center's general counsel. "Both men condemn gays and lesbians. Both invoke the Bible to justify their views. Both speak of the death penalty for homosexuals. But there is a critical difference between the two. Justice Moore is much more dangerous because he has political power."