... So that You may be kept informed

UK: Britain bans members of anti-gay US church

20 Feb 2009 4:33 AM

LONDON, Feb 19 AFP - Britain has barred entry to two members of a US church for inciting hatred against gays and others, the government said Thursday on the eve of a planned protest by the radical group.

The Westboro Baptist Church, based in Kansas, has been planning to stage a protest against a play being put on by a gay youth group in southeast England on Friday.

But the Home Office, Britain's interior ministry, said Fred Phelps and Shirley Phelps-Roper have been told they cannot travel to Britain because of their views.

"The Home Secretary has excluded both Fred Phelps and his daughter Shirley Phelps-Roper from the UK," a spokeswoman told AFP.

"These individuals have engaged in unacceptable behaviour by inciting hatred against a number of communities," she said, adding: "They have been notified of their exclusion."

On its website, www.godhatesfags.com the group announces plans to picket a performance of "The Laramie Project", about the death of a US man killed for being homosexual, at Queen Mary's College in Basingstoke, southwest of London.

"God hates the Queen Mary's College, and the fag-infested UK, England, and all having to do with spreading sodomite lies via 'The Laramie Project', this tacky bit of cheap fag propaganda masquerading as legitimate theatre.

"Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind; it is abomination. Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith," said the church.

Reporting the British ban on its website, the US church added: "God Hates the UK - Land of the Sodomite Damned."

The Home Office spokeswoman added that any supporters of the US church trying to enter Britain to join the demonstration would also be refused entry.

"Other supporters of Phelps who are identified on entry will be refused on non-conducive grounds under the immigration rules," she said.

The move comes a week after Britain refused entry to a far-right Dutch politician, Geert Wilders, accused of inciting anti-Islamic hatred notably in a film which juxtaposes images of the 9/11 attacks and excerpts from the Koran.

"The government has made it clear it opposes extremism in all its forms and we will continue to stop those who want to spread extremism, hatred and violent messages in our communities from coming to our country," said the spokeswoman.