That one-joke homophobia machine, Reverend Fred Phelps, is at it again. The proprietor of godhatesfags.com, whose last big stunt was a protest at the opening of New York City's Harvey Milk High School, wants to do something special for the folks of Matthew Shepard's hometown, Casper, Wyoming. The Denver Post reports:
To commemorate the fifth anniversary of gay college student Matthew Shepard's gruesome death, the Rev. Fred Phelps wants to erect what he calls an "absolutely beautiful" monument in Shepard's hometown of Casper, Wyo.
About 6 feet tall and 3 1/2 feet wide, Phelps' monument would bear a brass plaque reading: "Matthew Shepard entered Hell October 12, 1998, at age 21 in defiance of God's solemn warning: 'Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; it is abomination.' Leviticus 18:22."
...."He's a bad cold that won't go away," Casper City Manager Tom Forslund said of Phelps, who has announced he'll protest gay rights in Fort Collins, Casper and Laramie later this month. "He just is a very strange person. He sends faxes to us. I got three of them this morning."...
From godhatesfags.com itself, here's a rendition of the proposed monument.
According to both the Post (Phelps's site concurs), a federal court ruling may require Casper to allow the monument:
In July 2002, the 10th Circuit ruled that governments that allow statements like the Ten Commandments to be posted on public property must permit all other messages, too.
The folks who put up the Commandments monument have offered to take it back.
I don't know what Phelps's point is. He's so over the top that he alienates and embarrasses people who might agree with him. But I guess he must be having the time of his life doing this. Most guys his age would just want to buy a Porsche.