Westboro's Fred Phelps Near Death

    The Controversial Rev Fred Phelps, Of Topeka, Kansas, Took His Family And Followers Of His Caustic Anti-Gay Message To Laramie, Wyo., Monday To Demonstrate At The Site Of The Trial Of Russell Henderson At The Albany County Courthouse. Henderson Is Standing Trial For The October Murder Of Gay University Of Wyoming Student Matthew Shepard In Laramie. (Photo By Kevin Moloney/Getty Images)

    Kevin Moloney/Getty

    The son of Westboro Baptist Church leader Fred Phelps, Sr. announced on his Facebook page that his father had been excommunicated in August 2013 and is gravely ill. Nathan Phelps, who left the church and became an LGBT and anti-child-abuse advocate, did not indicate in the post why his father was excommunicated last year or what he was dying of. His post offered mixed feelings about his father, whose former church was famous for leading protests at the deaths of war veterans and waving signs that say “God hates fags.” Phelps wrote, “I feel sad for all the hurt he's caused so many,” but also "I feel sad for those who will lose the grandfather and father they loved.” He also stated “I'm bitterly angry that my family is blocking the family members who left from seeing him, and saying their goodbyes.”

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