Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps reportedly made a shocking revelation before he died. According to a report by Gay Star News on Friday, Phelps’ grandson claims his grandfather came out in support of LGBT equality before he passed away and was excommunicated from the anti-gay group.
Rumors surfaced about Phelps’ sexuality as an explanation as to why he became one of the most homophobic people in the world. Lauren Drain, a former member of the WBC, released a book about her experience with the anti-gay group. In the book she suggests that Phelps may have formed the WBC and begun his anti-gay crusade because of a gay experience. She said in the book that whenever he was asked about his sexuality, he would get so angry and shut down. His reaction made her wonder about his past and what really triggered his hatred.
New information has emerged that may have confirmed the rumors and speculation that he did have change of heart and may have even come out as gay. Zachary Phelps-Roper, the 23-year-old grandson of Phelps, has spoken out about his grandfather’s admiration for the rainbow-stripped Equality House, located across the street from the WBC headquarters in Kansas. Phelps-Roper felt his grandfather had a change of heart just before he passed away.
Phelps-Roper left a message on the Facebook of Equality House on Thursday night reading, “Fred W. Phelps, my grandfather, came out in support of the Equality House before he was voted out of WBC. Specifically, on the day that he was excommunicated, he stood outside of the front door of the church (but not within anyone’s earshot but a few members of WBC who happened to be in the immediate vicinity)…I say, he spoke to this effect to the Equality House: ‘You are good people.’”
The message made commenters on the Facebook page wonder if the page was hacked, but the administrator confirmed the message from Phelps-Roper as legit. Phelps-Roper felt his grandfather’s change of heart started after his grandmother almost passed away. The thought of losing her made Phelps change how he viewed the world.
The accuracy of Phelps-Roper’s claims are unknown, but as someone close to Phelps, he would certainly know about any change of heart his grandfather had while on his death bed. Phelps’ son Nathan Phelps, who left the church back in 1980, said it was something he wasn’t aware of but said, “Let’s hope it is true and the man eventually saw the error of his ways and that the rest of his rapidly decreasing number of followers will soon follow his lead.”