The Topeka, Kansas-based Westboro
Baptist Church, known for coining the phrase “God hates fags” and
picketing the funerals of fallen soldiers, has asked to intervene in
a case challenging Kansas' ban on gay marriage.
Kansas is the lone state resisting two
separate Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals rulings striking down gay
marriage bans in Oklahoma and Utah. The court's rulings took effect
earlier this month after the Supreme Court refused to hear appeals in
The ACLU has asked a federal judge in
Kansas City to force the state to comply with the rulings and allow
gay and lesbian couples to marry in Kansas. The ACLU is representing
two lesbian couples who wish to marry in Kansas but were denied
marriage licenses. Last-minute briefs in the case are due Monday.
In its petition, Westboro officials
said that allowing gay couples to marry would “destroy Kansas.”
“If this Court requires Kansas
officials to treat what God has called abominable as something to be
respected, revered, and blessed with the seal-of-approval of the
government, that will cross a final line with God,” the document
states. “The harm that will befall this state, when the
condign destructive wrath of God pours out on Kansans is the ultimate
harm to the health, welfare and safety of the people.”
Lawyers representing Westboro told U.S.
District Judge Daniel Crabtree that the church has a “vital
interest in what the courts rule regarding this issue, as it directly
impacts their religious practices, beliefs, preachments, picketing,
association and speech, as well as the wellbeing of their fellow
Crabtree dismissed a similar request to
intervene in the case by a straight couple who
claimed that allowing gay couples to marry would be tantamount to
seizing their marriage property.
provided by Equality Case Files.)