I have been organizing on queer issues for a short time now, only a few years compared to a lot of people. However, in doing so, I am always amazed at how much people at hate Fred Phelps. I am sure most of you know him by now, he pickets funerals of people who died of AIDS, and really anybody he can make a connection to the gay rights movement. Colleagues of mine really hate him for “Fag Pimp” and “God hates fags/America” signs, but I have never really been that outraged by them.
I argue that Fred Phelps is one of the greatest benefits to the queer rights movement now. He represents all of the atrocious and many times ludicrous beliefs of the queer hating right wing nuts. Yet, he is so outlandish that not even “mainstream” conservatives will identify him. One of my comrades and myself were interviewing members of his church at one of their pickets a few years ago, and I remember a well dressed business like man walked out and said “I really agree with all of what your saying, but this is not the mean to go about it.” And that is the very point, typical gay-hating folk do not want to associate with Fred, because of his in your face approach, however many do agree with him. Give me a Fred Phelps before a Rick Santorum any day of the week.
This week, there is in-your-face proof, that Fred Phelps is a benefit to the queer-rights movement. Fred Phelps turned the people away, who normally would have supported such a declaration. Thanks a lot Fred!