Pro-gay group counteracts 'God Hates Fags' church's picket of Robin Williams' funeral with fundraiser
A pro-gay group has launched a campaign to counteract Westboro Baptist's Church's message of hate after the anti-gay church threatened to picket actor Robin Williams' funeral service over the weekend.
Planting Peace is a non-for-profit organisation (located directly across from Westboro) whose primary purpose is "spreading peace in a hurtful world."
The organisation decided to launch a fundraiser in order to collect money for one of Williams' favourite charities when they heard of the anti-gay church's proposed picket of the actor's funeral.
The church, also known as the 'God Hates Fags Church' predominantly because of their slogans and placards bearing the catchphrase, announced they would picket Williams' funeral (which took place over the weekend) in protest to the actor's portrayal of a gay character in the film The Birdcage.
Co-founder of Planting Peace, Aaron Jackson, told the Huffington Post the group wanted to solidify a message of love to counteract WBC's message of hate.
“When the WBC announced they were protesting Robin’s funeral, we felt like launching a fundraiser for a charity Robin loved would be the perfect way to honour him and counteract the message of hate and intolerance that the WBC continues to convey," Jackson said.
“In keeping with our philosophy of addressing acts of hate and intolerance with compassion and love, we are inviting the public to show their respect and support of a man who spent his life making others smile, who was always there for others in their time of need, and who supported the greater good through works of service and charity.
“Robin Williams played many different roles in so many people’s lives, and giving back to others was at the top of that list.”
Proceeds to St Jude Children's Research Hospital resulting from the campaign have so far raised over $40,000.
Robin Williams passed away a week ago, ending his own life, after a long battle with depression.