This is a very brief diary to let you know that, thanks to lots of online agitation and protest, the inane and hateful Fred Phelps has been banned from entering the UK
From Today’s Sun (not usually my favourite newspaper)
TWO American hate preachers were banned tonight from entering Britain by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith.
Extremist Christian leaders Fred Phelps and daughter Shirley Phelps-Roper had planned to jet into the UK to protest against a play being put on by a gay youth group on Friday.
The fanatics are both members of the US Westboro Baptist Church – a sick sect which calls for homosexuals to be killed and CELEBRATES soldiers’ deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Phelps, 79, and his daughter Shirley, 51, had targeted a performance of The Laramie Project, about the death of an American man killed for being gay.
They had boasted they would picket the play, due to be held at a school arts centre in Basingstoke, Hants.
But the pair will now be stopped by immigration officials on arrival and placed straight on a flight back to the US.
Halt … Smith hands out ban
Home Office sources said other church members could also be flagged and stopped if they tried to enter Britain.
The ban comes after Dutch MP Geert Wilders was barred from the UK last week for his extremist views on Islam.
A UK Border Agency spokesman told The Sun: “The Home Secretary has excluded both Fred Phelps and his daughter Shirley Phelps-Roper from the UK.
“Both these individuals have engaged in unacceptable behaviour by inciting hatred against a number of communities.
“The Government has made it clear it opposes extremism in all its forms.
“The exclusions policy is targeted at all those who seek to stir up tension and provoke others to violence regardless of their origins and beliefs.”
Thanks to all of you who joined the Facebook protest page. The organiser, Damian Barr, says
It’s worth taking a moment to remember Matthew Shephard http://www.facebook.com/l.php?…
His murder and subequent events are the subject of the Laramie Project. I remember helping to stage a vigil for Matthew when I was a student at Lancaster University. That was over 10 years ago. We were all numbed then. Now I am still shocked by Phelps & co but, sadly, not surprised. They want Matthew to be one casualty. They want you and me to join him ‘in hell’.
This group is helping to send a message of postivity, love and tolerance. The staff and pupils are Queen Mary’s College in Basingstoke are doing a Good Thing. I am very proud of it and them. And you. You should be too.