Westboro to Face Off With Occupy at Powell Funeral

Phelps family thinks boys died because of Washington's same-sex marriage bill
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2012 2:27 PM CST
Rachel Hockenbarger from Westboro Baptist Church protests outside Reliant Stadium where The Response, a daylong prayer and fast rally, was held in Houston last summer.   (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

(Newser) – The relentlessly classy folks at the Westboro Baptist Church are at it again. Margie Phelps announced today that her family intends to picket the funerals of Charlie and Braden Powell, the children, aged 7 and 5 respectively, who were blown up by their father this week, the News Tribune reports. On Twitter, Margie explained that in her view the boys died because of Washington state's support of same-sex marriage.

The church won't be there alone. When Occupy Seattle caught wind of the church's plans, it called on its members to show up at the funeral for a counter-protest. Organizers wrote on Facebook that Westboro "has decided to capitalize on these sad events by bringing their unique brand of hate to Washington." They also insisted that they didn't want to disrupt the funeral, but rather to "protect it from Westboro's abhorrent message." (Read more Charlie Powell stories.)

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