Zacharias Phelps-Roper, the grandson of Fred Phelps, told HuffPost Live that his grandfather came out “in support of the homosexuals” on the day he was excommunicated from the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church he founded.

Phelps reportedly was ousted last summer from the Topeka, Kansas church best known for coining the phrase “God hates fags.” He died in March at the age of 84.

Last year, Aaron Jackson's charity Planting Peace purchased a house across from the Westboro Baptist Church and painted it rainbow colors to symbolize gay pride. Jackson said that Equality House sent a message “that where there's hate, there's also love.”

On Thursday, Equality House posted a statement from Phelps-Roper on its Facebook page.

“Fred W. Phelps, my grandfather, came out in support of the Equality House before he was voted out of WBC,” Phelps-Roper said.

"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 words to this effect to the Equality House: 'You are good people.'”

“I feel like he had a change of heart after my grandmother nearly passed away, and he felt the pangs of loss ... he waited for news of her every day and night while she was in intensive care. I think this triggered a chain reaction whereby he developed great empathy for others... which would explain why he would support Planting Peace's anti-suicide and anti-bullying platforms, and their charities across the world....”

“I love my grandfather! And I believe people DO change, if they are inspired enough.”

In an appearance on HuffPost Live, Phelps-Roper, 23, added that he believes his grandfather “got over that [homophobia].”

“I don't think he hated homosexuals by that point,” he told host Marc Lamont Hill. “Planting Peace, you know, the fact that it's a rainbow house kind of implies that maybe there is a homosexual connection there. So yeah, I figure that he was supporting them too. The day that he was excommunicated my family took great notice of that and they called it rank blasphemy that he was coming out in support of the homosexuals.”

(Related: Westboro Baptist Church to picket Chicago Pride Fest.)