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Fred Phelps banned from the U.K.

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UK 'least wanted' list published

The names of some of the people barred from entering the UK for fostering extremism or hatred have been published for the first time.

Islamic extremists, white supremacists and a US radio host are among the 16 of 22 excluded in the five months to March to have been named by the Home Office.

Fred Waldron Phelps Snr, a 79-year-old American Baptist pastor, and his daughter Shirley Phelps-Roper are barred for their anti-gay comments.

Both have picketed the funerals of Aids victims and celebrated the deaths of US soldiers as "punishment" for US tolerance of homosexuality.

Obviously, being a gay man, I'd rather not have Phelps spewing his bile on my doorstep. But then there is the question of the freedom of speech, something I've always taken for granted.

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Generally American exports are welcomed in Britain. Even during WWII when the soldiers billeted here were sarcastically described as 'over-paid, over-sexed, and over here'. But Phelps seems to me to be about the least welcome export from the USA that I can imagine.

When I first heard the story on the BBC, it was 'a series of terrorism sympathisers and a Baptist minister who has spoken out against homosexuality' who've been banned from Britain. And that gave me pause - just how dangerous could a Baptist minister be? And aren't there a lot of clergy who still 'speak out against homosexuality' - and they don't get banned from the country? But then today I realised it's Phelps. Who is a class apart. And it all made sense.

Personally I wouldn't ban him, purely on the principle of freedom of speech.

I think he's quite an old man, now. Perhaps he won't last much longer. I have a suspicion his following, such as it is, will dissolve once he's gone.

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They say that any publicity is good publicity as long as they spell your name correctly. I'm thinking Fred Phelps must be appreciative of this amount of official and media attention to him and his "cause."

James Merkin

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Good on you! Our British cousins have the good sense to keep troublemakers out of their country.

I just wish we could export Fred Phelps and Michael Savage: permanently. The pair of them are a stain on the very fabric of the United States. While I support their right to spew the filth and hate they are so well known for, they make me wish for a loophole in the freedom of speech. Personally, I think they should both be muzzled, man in the iron mask style...


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The trouble with freedom of speech is that it is NOT an equal right. If it were, fine, but the fact is, you are free to say what you think, and not be much heard, yet someone who has the ears and eyes of the media (by flamboyance, money, or ownership) will be heard, and not just have the freedom to speak one-on-one.

How can a sane voice be heard over that of strident militants who pour all their fervour and money into inciting others? You can't, and since the single voice cannot be heard, the rights of others need to be curbed to bring them to the same level of near silence.

That is the beauty of Youtube, Facebook, and other internet media. Each one is equal, at least until governments recognize their loss of media control and take steps to silence them. Banning Phelps and not reporting his blather is good, but destroying the equality of nearly universal internet access is very bad.

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Rick, you address my point perfectly, and in my view, there IS a loophole in the right to freedom of speech. It was never considered that a time would come when millions could be addressed instantly, by those with money or other means, so the limit needs to be put that only one-on-one freedom of speech exists, or at most, talking to a crowd WITHOUT media present.

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Britain isn't abrogating anyone's civil rights. It is officially showing disdain for the vile and repugnant hate messages that spew from the mouths of jerks like Savage and Phelps. It isn't stopping them from speaking, however. It's just keeping them out of their country. I think they have every right to do that. Neither is an English citizen.

Unfortunately, we get to claim them for ourselves.


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Trab brings up a good point, however. Media types are attracted to controversy and those with the biggest soapboxes like moths to a flame. As a direct result, people like Phelps are made out to be bigger and more important than they should be.

While I'm on the subject, how is it that Savage has a radio show? The FCC fined CBS hundreds of thousands of dollars for a sub-second view of Janet Jackson's 30 year old titty. How is it that Savage and his hate filled rhetoric are allowed to stay on air? I don't get it...


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I wish America could ban Phred Phelps. Calling him a flaming asshole and a national embarrassment is an injustice to assholes everwhere.

The UK is well within their rights to keep out people whose sole objective for drawing breath is to do harm or advocate harm against people or otherwise cause trouble.

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  • 2 weeks later...

You may have the right to own a gun and the right to freedom of speech.

Having the right to own a gun does not give you the right to use it to kill people.

Having the right to freedom of speech shouldn?t give you the right to use it to instil hatred that is used as an excuse to kill people.

They may have freedom of speech, but should that include the freedom to propagate hate?

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The courts have already upheld rulings that freedom of speech doesn't extend to Hate Speech. Same with yelling "movie" in a crowded fire.

Phelps and phamily are total F'in' morons. I've heard Shirley Phelps (the psychotic attorney/daughter) on Howard Stern's show many times, and even Howard finally got tired of her ravings and has kept her off the show for four or five years now. She's a pathetic, detestable person.

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Ah yes, Phred Felch. I met up with him in 2000. He came all the way to Seattle to protest a gay rights parade which culminated with a rally outside our studios at GAYBC Radio. The monstro P.A. system I put together for the occasion easily drowned out the mad preacher. I snapped this pic while he was trying to harrass Col. Grethe Cammermeyer who was addressing the crowd. Phred is the guy in the red/blue jacket and white hat. (All-American good guy?)


That's his petite and lovable daughter, Shirley, to his right. The "Matt is in Hell" posters refer to murdered Wyoming college student Matthew Shepard, who died in October 1998.

Note: It was Matt's death that prompted me to 'come out' and later join GAYBC as their news director.

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I had a run in with the Phelphs Klan in '96 at the funeral of the guy I should have spent my life with.

I got arrested for cold-cocking one of their little bitch boy agitators but the Brandon cops let me go as soon as the Phelps were out of town.

You should see what little cowardly pieces of crap that are when they see that you're pissed and you are after them for real. They screamed like little girls.

Some of the cops went to school with Jeff and wished they could have had a go at them.

I have the satisfaction of knowing one of those a-holes has scars to remember me by.

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Gee. I hope it wasn't his tortured little gay grandson you coldcocked! I bought three of the grand kids cokes when they slipped away at that rally. At least he was miserable at being dragged across the country to support his hate-spewing gramps. The other two were more tight-lipped. Fred's death may not end the Phelps organization, composed mainly of lawyers. But much of the steam will be gone with the wind like two of Fred's sons.... And I'm sure the grandkids will scatter to the winds when the wicked old man is roasting in hell!

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No- the guy I popped was fat, fourty-ish and said the wrong thing...into a bullhorn. It was so offensive that I won't repeat it here. If you must know, PM me but be prepared to puke and get furious.

Jeff was popular in his home town and after what he said, the cops were slow to pull me off of him and didn't even cuff me.

I have since seen the same nappy mutt at various other Phelps events on video. I'll bet its not the first or only time he's been hit.

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I just wish we could export Fred Phelps and Michael Savage: permanently.

Note that Michael Savage's real surname is "Weiner." Somehow, it figures that the guy was a d!ck.

In the case of Savage, he's just being outrageous in order to boost his radio ratings. Phelps and his family are scary because they believe what they say, 100%. Savage is just doing an act to make money. Both hateful, but Phelps is much, much worse.

I got arrested for cold-cocking one of their little bitch boy agitators but the Brandon cops let me go as soon as the Phelps were out of town.

Normally, I don't advocate violence, but I applaud you for this.


Next time you do this, tell me and I'll contribute to your bail fund!

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I remember him trying to get into the UK before that list was published, think it was sometime in February, and the old bastard was detained and sent back on the next flight. They were coming here to protest a play called The Laramie Project, which is about a man being killed because he was gay.

His charming daughter then turned round and said god would bring great wrath upon our heads, because we kicked their sorry asses out. Well 3 months on and we're still waiting poppet! :blush:

Here's the original story: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england...ire/7898972.stm

And the follow up: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/hampshire/7903344.stm

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