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Anti-gay American cleric banned from UK for inciting hatred

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Post  Guest Fri Feb 20, 2009 11:01 am

A homophobic American cleric who runs a website called God Hates Fags and was allegedly planning to picket a play showing in the UK has been banned from Britain by the home secretary, Jacqui Smith.

Fred Phelps had vowed to come to Britain with his daughter, Shirley, to picket a school play in Basingstoke, Hampshire, that promotes tolerance for gay people. The play, The Laramie Project, depicts the murder of a homosexual teenager, ­Matthew Shepard, in the Wyoming town in 1998. It will be staged tomorrow evening at Queen Mary's College.

Phelps, who runs the Primitive Baptist Westboro church in Topeka, Kansas – most of whose congregation are members of his family, including his 13 children – has bought a plot of land in Laramie where he plans to build a memorial celebrating the murder, despite local opposition.

He and his family cause outrage by picketing the funerals of American personnel killed in Iraq, on the grounds that they were serving the godforsaken US. They wave banners and sometimes trample on the Stars and Stripes to show their contempt for their country. His publicity-seeking behaviour and vehemently expressed views are condemned by all mainstream denominations in the US.

A posting on Phelps's companion website God Hates the World this week stated: "God hates England. Your Queen is a whore. You're going to hell."

There was no evidence that the Phelps family, who tour the US spreading their message and have expressed a wish to come to Britain to preach at Speakers' Corner in London, had made arrangements to carry out their threat of picketing the play, but the Home Office said Phelps and other members of his family would be banned from entry if they arrived.

A UK Border Agency spokesman said: "The home secretary has excluded both Fred Phelps and his daughter from the UK. Both these individuals have engaged in unacceptable behaviour by inciting hatred against a number of communities.

"The government has made it clear it opposes extremism in all its forms. We will continue to stop those who want to spread extremism, hatred and violent messages in our communities from coming to our country … regardless of their opinions and beliefs."

The move follows last week's Home Office decision to refuse entry to Geert Wilders, a rightwing Dutch politician accused of Islamophobia. Wilders was due to show his 17-minute film Fitna, which criticises the Qur'an as a "fascist book", in the Lords but was turned back at Heathrow.

Wow, one of the few smart things the UK has done.

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Anti-gay American cleric banned from UK for inciting hatred Empty Re: Anti-gay American cleric banned from UK for inciting hatred

Post  Markwes Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:18 pm

How is it that this guy hasn't been taken out yet?
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