Acclaimed author JK Rowling blasted the Westboro Baptist Church for homophobic tweets against Ireland’s vote in favour marriage equality.
Rowling, who is a long time supporter of LGBTI rights celebrated Ireland’s vote in favour of marriage equality and responded to a fan who proposed a wedding between one of Harry Potter’s fictional characters, Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore, and The Lords of The Rings wizard Gandalf.
The U.S. based hate group, who have criticised Ireland’s historical move, responded by threatening to picket the marriage between two fictional fantasy characters, to which she replied:
.@WBCsigns Alas, the sheer awesomeness of such a union in such a place would blow your tiny bigoted minds out of your thick sloping skulls.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 26, 2015
Later, Rowling explained on Twitter to a fan why she felt it was important to challenge anti-LGBTI prejudice, even from an unimportant hate group.
I don’t care about WBC. I think it’s important that scared gay kids who aren’t out yet see hate speech challenged. https://t.co/XumjDmEjuw
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 27, 2015
Rowling, who lives in Edinburgh, revealed her fictional character was gay in 2007, when she said Albus Dumbledore was in love with his rival Grindlewald.
Over the weekend, Rowling took to twitter and celebrated Ireland’s referendum vote in favour of marriage equality:
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 23, 2015
Westboro Baptist Church, home of anti-gay extremists famous for their “Gods Hate Fags” demonstrations, previously blamed the deadly helicopter crash in Glasgow two years ago on Scotland’s advancement of marriage equality.
“God hates Scotland, where they marry fag beasts,” said the first of a series of anti-gay tweets, while others targeted Scottish politicians who voted in favour of marriage equality.
Westboro Baptist Church, classified as an “anti-gay hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), has a long history anti-gay picketing, demonstrations and protests and has been crowned as “arguably the most obnoxious and rabid hate group in America.”
The Topeka, Kansas-based church first gained press attention when, in 1998, they protested at the funeral of Matthew Shepard with signs that read “No Fags in Heaven” and “God Hates Fags.”
The church is not affiliated with the Baptist denomination or any other Baptist church. According to news reports, almost all of its members — fewer than 100 — are related to founder Fred Phelps either by blood or marriage.
Westboro Baptist Church members are banned from entering the United Kingdom since 2009 because of their practices.