Westboro Baptist Church message losing ground, members skip picket at Ebert's funeral

Mon. April 8, 2013 10:48 AM by GoPride.com News Staff

Chicago, IL - Despite a claim that they would picket Roger Ebert's funeral Monday at Holy Name Cathedral, members of the Westboro Baptist Church failed to show according to DNAChicago.

The Topeka-based hate church, which is made up mostly of Fred Phelps' immediate family, gained national attention when they protested at the funeral of Matthew Shephard. Recently the church has seen major defections over its anti-gay and anti-semitic message, which has caused the church to crumble. Most notably Phelps' granddaughters left the group in November.

In 2012, the Phelps' clan manipulated a photo to appear they had protested outside the funeral of Whitney Houston.

According to DNAChicago, Ebert tweeted occasionally about the church. After the Supreme Court ruled the church's activities were protected under the First Amendment, Ebert tweeted, "The Supreme Court rules correctly about the odious Westboro Baptist Church. A cheap price to pay for freedom of speech."

Ebert also supported marriage equality.

The beloved movie critic, who died Thursday after battling cancer, was remembered by friends and family Monday morning at Holy Name Cathedral.

"Roger's name became synonymous with Chicago," Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said.

Read more about Roger Ebert's funeral in the Chicago Tribune