Shirley Phelps-Roper of the Westboro Baptist Church, a Kansas church known for its vehement anti-gay positions and for protesting at US soldiers' funeral, stage a protest across the street from Northwestern High School in Hyattsville, Maryland, outside Washington, on March 1, 2011. The church was demonstrating against what it claims is a "pervert-run" school and said teachers across the country have "broken the moral compass of this generation." AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
Should the Westboro Baptist Church be deemed a hate group?
More than 260,000 people who signed a petition to the White House say yes. The biggest ever on the White House's We the People site, the petition calls for the funeral-crashing independent church to be hit with some sort of "imposed regulation."
The Kansas-based anti-gay group is notorious for picketing the funerals of soldiers and gay Americans, and most recently for threatening to protest outside funerals for the Newtown school-shooting victims.
Even if some official action is taken against Westboro, that doesn't guarantee it'll disappear anytime soon. President Obama signed a law earlier this year to prohibit protests two hours before or after military funerals and to keep demonstrators 300 feet away.