Toronto
2 min

Ignore him or ban him?

The man who hates fags comes to Canada

PROHIBITION. From the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church's website. Credit: Xtra files

The man behind the God Hates Fags web site is coming to Ottawa – to protest same-sex spousal rights and to burn the Canadian flag.



“On May 20, in blatant defiance of God Almighty and His revealed Word on the matter, Canada’s Supreme Court said it’s okay for fags to marry each other, thereby involving the wrath of God,” states a note on the Rev Fred Phelps’s godhatesfags.com, announcing a demonstration at the Supreme Court Of Canada building on Mon, Jun 28.



“Canada is a grotesque, malignant tumor sitting atop Uncle Sam’s head, threatening to metastasize.”



This is followed by comments on how homosexuals are filthy, disgusting and deserve to die.



Phelps has distinguished himself by regularly picketing the funerals of US gay men, including that of murdered student Matthew Shepard. Phelps has even set up a web site explaining how Shepard is burning in hell for his sodomizing ways.



Rev Phelps did not respond to Xtra’s request for further information on his Canadian appearance. But the threat of a visit has many gay men and lesbians across the country arguing over whether the RCMP and Canada Customs should be lobbied to stop him at the border as someone who may break Canadian law (activists call Phelps a hate-monger).



Others say he should be ignored.



Ottawa homos and straight religious groups are planning a counter-demonstration.



“One of the positive things about something like this is the extent to which it serves to mobilize the community and it’s been terrific to see how quickly and easily the Ottawa community has come together,” says John Fisher, executive director of Equality For Gays And Lesbians (EGALE).



He argues against even confiscating hate literature at the border.



“It would just made Fred Phelps feel like a victim… if we give bigots the space to express themselves, they simply reinforce our equality objectives by demonstrating the hatred that we’re fighting against.”



There’ll be a prayer vigil, songs and a show of tolerance.



“I’m quite confident that once Canadians see this hateful American burning the Canadian flag – and contrast that against the strength and visibility of our community asserting equality and tolerance and respect… it will be clear that Canada’s values do not correspond with those of Rev Phelps.”



Phelps is also misrepresenting the Supreme Court Of Canada. The recent M versus H decision is about spousal support payments in the event of a split-up, and not about the right to marry at all.



And in turn, Ottawa’s Pride parade will be a huge demonstration for gay rights that will end at the foot of the national legislature. The Pride parade starts at 2pm on Sun, Jul 11.



EGALE can be reach at 1-888-204-7777.