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Today is Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Fighting Hate In Fred Phelps' Backyard

[TOPEKA, KS] - Topeka gays, fed up with constant attacks by extreme right wing preacher Fred Phelps, are pressing city council to enact GLBT civil rights protections.

"Our community is now recognized across the country as an epicentre of gay and lesbian hate," said Pedro Irigonegaray, a Topeka attorney representing the group Concerned Citizens of Topeka. Phelps, who operates out of his self proclaimed Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, operates the "God Hates Fags" website, and for more than 11 years has led or organized more than 20,000 anti-gay demonstrations across the US.

Phelps has anti-gay and anti-lesbian signs all over Topeka.

Irigonegaray, who helped write the amendments to prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or perception said: "Not to oppose hate is to endorse it." Two years ago, the Topeka City Council unanimously passed a nonbinding resolution against hate. The new amendments will be introduced to the council next week. Phelps is promising a fight over the proposed amendments.

"(They want to) put some kind of phoney government seal of approval on that filthy lifestyle," Phelps said Tuesday. Phelps said the United States has " gone to hell," and called Sept. 11 the payback for acceptance of alternative lifestyles. "This is the wrath of God that smote this evil country Sept. 11," Phelps said.

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