Westboro Baptist Church, the infamously homophobic church group based in Topeka, Kansas, has been banned from social networking site Twitter.
LGBT news site Pink News reported that the group has lost its primary Twitter accounts, including the church account @WBCSays and Shirley Phelps-Roeper’s account @WBCShirl. Other associated accounts like @WBCSigns and @WBCSaysRepent are still up and running, although none of the two remaining Twitter profiles have offered explanations regarding Twitter’s ban on the church’s primary handles.
An account with the handle @WBCShirl2, presumed to be Shirley Phelps-Roeper’s new account, sent a tweet to @PinkNews, saying that the old Twitter profiles were removed, allegedly because of their picketing of the Twitter offices last year.
CBS Local reported that the Westboro Baptist Church picketed major Silicon Valley headquarters last year, including Twitter, Apple, Skype, and Facebook. The picket was in protest of the media’s alleged attempt “to vilify, marginalize and demonize the servants of God at Westboro Baptist Church.”
The Westboro Baptist Church, an unaffiliated Baptist church founded by the late Fred Phelps, has gained notoriety over the past few years due to the inflammatory and hateful protests and pickets they’ve conducted across the country. The church has protested against a wide array of topics in different places in the United States, and has targeted homosexuality, abortion, and even the funerals of dead soldiers. They are most infamously known for creating one-liner hateful signs, which they allow child members of the church to carry in public.
Recently, the Inquisitr reported that the Westboro appealed to a Kansas court to allow church lawyers to intervene with the same-sex marriage talks currently ongoing in the state.
Westboro’s legal counsel stated, “We are now facing a totally different lawsuit; and the potential for the ‘rights’ asserted to lap over onto the churches of Kansas, including WBC, with a claim that same-sex couples have the ‘right’ to get the official sanction of the religious pillar of society (to be totally fulfilled in their desire to be treated with dignity), is not only likely, but inevitable.”
Twitter isn’t the first place to kick Westboro Baptist Church out of the gates. The government of the United Kingdom has issued a ban against the church in 2009, after plans of picketing a youth production of the Laramie Project in Queen Mary’s College has been revealed. In response to Westboro plans to picket a dead Canadian man’s funeral in Winnipeg, the Canadian government has also barred the church group in 2008 from entering Canadian premises and territories.
[Image from Chad Armstrong/Flickr]