Society Fred Phelps legacy: Should Westboro Baptist founder be picketed? (+video)

With reports that Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps is near death, some gay-rights advocates are conflicted. In the end, they say, his actions actually helped their cause.

By , Staff writer

Emily Younker/The Joplin Globe/AP/File

For most of the past 20 years, gay Americans dreaded Fred Phelps Sr. and the “God hates fags” pickets by members of his Westboro Baptist Church, a congregation that believes that disciples who do not attack those they see as sinful will themselves be punished by God.