White House: Westboro protests 'reprehensible'
WASHINGTON - The White House says it can't fulfill a request to deem a group that protests at soldiers' funerals a hate group. But it says President Barack Obama believes such actions are reprehensible.
The Obama administration is responding to petitions through the White House website to label the Westboro Baptist Church a hate group and revoke its tax-exempt status. Almost 700,000 people signed five related petitions.
The group claims when American troops die, it's God's punishment for America tolerating homosexuality and abortion.
The White House says the federal government doesn't maintain a list of hate groups. But it's releasing a map showing where the petition-signers come from. The map shows high density in Kansas, where the Westboro group is based, and Connecticut, where church members threatened to picket Newtown victims' funerals.
Desktop NewsClick to open Continuous News in a sidebar that updates in real-time.
Gunfire outside Sorrento landfill escalates enviromental fight
Reported two alarm apartment fire on Titian Ave. near N Donmoor Ave.
20-year-old wanted for shooting near Doe's restaurant on Government Street
Legally blind teacher works, can't get disability assistance
Community gathers to honor Martin Luther King Jr. on MLK Day