Westboro Baptist Church Plans to Picket Betty Ford’s Funeral
The Westboro Baptist Church is at it again.
The fundamentalist and anti-gay group has announced it will picket the funeral of former first lady Betty Ford, who died last week, because she got divorced before marrying the man who would later become President Gerald Ford. This, the group says, made her an adulterer who “loved to sit with tawdry reporters and blather about sex.”
The organization, which consists mostly of leader Fred Phelps’ family and friends, won the legal right to picket funerals in March after the Supreme Court ruled such demonstrations are protected by the First Amendment. The group has mostly exercised that right at the memorial services of fallen military personnel, calling their deaths God’s punishment for the tolerance of homosexuals.
Back in May, comedian Lisa Lampanelli famously announced she would give $1,000 to the Gay Men’s Health Crisis organization for every Westboro member that showed up to protest her show in the church’s hometown of Topeka, Kansas. The church members took the bait, which ended in Lampanelli donating $50,000 to the nation’s oldest HIV/AIDS prevention and service organization — in the church’s name, of course.