Another Westboro Baptist Church member abandons church

23-year-old Zach Phelps-Roper, a grandson of Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps, has left the church and has spoken about how kind gay people have been to him since leaving

Another Westboro Baptist Church member abandons church
07 May 2014

Zach Phelps-Roper has spoken about his decision to break away from the Westboro Baptist Church and reconnect with other family members excommunicated from the notorious anti-gay church.

23-year-old Zach moved out of the family compound on 20 February, with the help of cousins who had already left the church.

He is the fourth of his ten siblings to leave the church, now lead by his mother Shirley Phelps-Roper – the daughter of church founder Fred Phelps

Zach told the Topeka Capital-Journal that some of his earliest memories were taking part in church pickets as a small child, but he had begun to question his church’s teachings around his 18th birthday.

He also said his interactions with LGBTI people since leaving the church had been a shockingly pleasant surprise.

‘After I left the church I met some homosexual men who were very kind to me, and I was taken aback,’ Zach said.

‘I met this guy at Olive Garden one night with my sister and he offered to pay for my entire dinner and I was so taken aback… I was like, “I don’t know what to say,” so I said, “No, no, let me do that, I’ll just pay for that, I’ve got it.”’

‘It was so funny because the very next day I saw him… I went out for a very moderate drinking [session] with my friends and family and … he just came up to me and just kindly got me one of these fruity kind of drinks that I like and he just said “Here you go man,” and just walked off – he didn’t even expect a thank you.’

Zach also shed some light on his grandfather’s mentality in his final weeks and on why he may have been excommunicated by his own church in his final days, saying he seemed to have become more moderate in his views towards the end.

‘When I was in the church they had described him as being someone who was manipulative and had mistreated other people in the church,’ Zach said.

‘[So] I was very ambivalent, I wasn’t sure what to think of my grandpa after he passed.’

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

US pundit says gays use Christmas to further gay agenda

American Family Association’s Sandy Rios claims the left plots to push vital legislation during the holiday season
No thumbnail available

Kissing lesbian couple escorted out of Canada restaurant for being ‘promiscuous’

The young couple say they are ‘shocked’ and ‘taken aback’ they were kicked out out of a Quebec restaurant for showing affection
No thumbnail available

BBC cancels lesbian drama Lip Service

The British Broadcasting Corporation has revealed the beloved drama will not be back for a third series
No thumbnail available

X-Men is about gay rights, Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart say

British actors and best friends say the films are a clear metaphor for the gay rights movement
No thumbnail available

James Glover: ‘I relaxed into showing my colleagues the real me’

A Director of Human Resources & Organizational Development in a healthcare organization, Glover came out when named Employee of the Year at an awards dinner
No thumbnail available

Lithuania plans more anti-gay laws

Lithuanian homophobe politician Petras Gražulis gets new anti-gay laws onto parliament agenda
No thumbnail available

Student plans gay retirement home in Canada

Student at Nova Scotia's Dalhousie University says LGBT elderly face homophobia in standard retirement homes
No thumbnail available

Male transgender student can't run for homecoming king, must be on ballot for queen

Decision comes days after California female trans student elected homecoming queen
No thumbnail available

Jessie J writing a musical to inspire kids

British bisexual pop star and Voice talent show judge Jessie J wants to return to her roots with stage show
No thumbnail available

Trans woman dies in police custody in Cuba

Reports that transgender woman was victim of police brutality in Cuba