The notorious anti-gay Westboro Church will be protesting the Feb. 11 memorial service for Charlie and Braden Powell, claiming their deaths are a payback from God over the state of Washington Legislature’s support of gay marriage.
Charlie, 7, and Braden, 5, died Sunday when their father, Josh Powell, intentionally set fire to his home in Graham, Wash. The children were on a supervised visit but the supervisor was locked out of the house.
Josh Powell was named a person of interest by West Valley City police after the disappearance of his wife in December 2009.
On her Twitter feed, Margie J. Phelps, daughter of Westboro founder Fred Phelps, wrote “Westboro will picket the funerals of the Powell boys, Sat., 2/11, 12:15p, to remind @GovGregoire they died because of her rebellion,” and “This is why God’s cursed you w Josh Powells blowing up kids.”
Westboro is most known for traveling around the country protesting funerals of soldiers and others, and making ostentatious claims that the deaths are because of an American tolerance toward homosexuality.
The Washington Legislature passed a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage and Gov. Chris Gregoire has pledged to sign it, most likely sometime next week. However, it will likely face a voter referendum before it will go into effect.
A Facebook page called “Keep Westboro Church away from Powell Memorial” is promising to stop Westboro and it’s quickly gaining traction.
“We will be out in full force to help create a buffer so this memorial can take place peacefully,” the page reads.
Members of the Occupy Seattle movement are also expected to attend to stand against Westboro.