Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Rainbow flag painted on house across from Westboro Baptist Church

3 hr ago By Riya Bhattacharjee of MSN News

A non-profit has bought a house across from the anti-gay church and turned it into a gay-rights center, complete with a rainbow flag.

The Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., might have finally met its match.

The church, which is known for its extreme ideologies and anti-gay views, now has a neighbor swathed in the rainbow colors of the gay pride flag.

Non-profit Planting Peace bought a house across from the church – notorious for its "God hates Fags" and "God hates America" slogans – and decided to turn it into a gay rights center, according to

The house – which has been named "Equality House" – even has a pride flag flying from a 30-foot pole.

This Twitter video gives a good idea of the proximity of the house to the church.

Planting Peace has been documenting the painting on its Facebook page, and uploaded pictures of the house after the painting was completed Tuesday to show off the finished product.

Judging from the responses they have received so far, most people like the bright colors.

According to messages posted on Facebook by Planting Peace, Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps' daughter, Shirley, also likes the colors.

"Shirley Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church just waved & said she loved the colors... So we all blew her kisses," wrote Planting Peace.

Some said that the church would likely file a lawsuit against Planting Peace, though it wasn't clear what the pretext would be.

But Planting Peace posted a message around 6:30 p.m. EST saying that the City of Topeka released a statement saying that the house had not violated any city ordinances.

"The Equality House is here to stay," it wrote.

Planting Peace did not immediately return a request for comment from MSN.

According to an online fundraiser for Equality House, the center hopes to serve as a "symbol of equality, peace and positive change."

It will serve as the resource center for all Planting Peace equality and anti-bullying initiatives.

Past initiatives of the organization include building orphanages in Haiti and India as well as de-worming children in Guatemala.

Planting Peace's founder, Aaron Jackson, told the Kansas City Fox affiliate that a small team of volunteers had painted the house.

"People keep coming out, honking horns, taking pictures,” he said. “There has been no negative response."

Local artist Wendy Prentice volunteered as the project's "color connoisseur."

Jackson reportedly stumbled on the location of Westboro Baptist Church while surfing on Google Earth.

He found a "For Sale" sign sitting on a house across from it and immediately decided to buy the house and paint it with the colors of the pride flag.

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