Nearly 300,000 people have signed onto a White House petition in support of designating the Westboro Baptist Church as a hate group, making it the most popular “We the People” petition to date.

The petition was submitted on Friday, December 14, the same day 26 people, including 20 children, died in a shooting spree at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Westboro responded by announcing it would picket the funerals of the victims.

The Topeka, Kansas-based ministry is known for its extreme ideologies and for coining the phrase “God hates fags.” In 2011, the Supreme Court ruled that the church has the legal right to picket military funerals. Among the reasons the group says it protests the funerals of fallen soldiers is that their deaths are the price America pays for its acceptance of “the sin of homosexuality.”

In August, President Barack Obama signed the Honoring America's Veterans Act, which prohibits protests from taking place within 300 feet of military funerals and states that they cannot take place during the funeral themselves.

(On the Net: Petition to legally recognize Westboro Baptist Church as a hate group.)