The Westboro Baptist Church has a colorful new neighbor, and Roy G. Biv isn’t going anywhere soon.
Planting Peace, a Destin, Fla.-based nonprofit, has purchased a house directly across from the notoriously homophobic Westboro Baptist Church, and today it is being painting with the rainbow pattern of the gay pride flag.
President and founder Aaron Jackson, 31, told the Daily News that this all started when he came across the picture of nine-year-old Josef Miles countering the Westboro Baptist Church’s picketing with a small sign written in pencil that simply said “Gods hates no one.” Jackson checked to see where the infamous fire and brimstone church was located. While messing around with Google Maps’ street view feature, he saw that the house across the street from the church’s Topeka, Kan. location was up for sale.
“The idea came right away: buy it and paint it the colors of the pride flag,” Jackson said.
Jackson called the realtor, only to find out that the house wasn’t for sale — but a neighboring one was.
After about six months of negotiations, Jackson’s nonprofit bought the house for approximately $83,000. Jackson said painting was supposed to take place in December, but it was too cold.
Everything went ahead as planned Tuesday morning, despite some flurries in Topeka. Jackson said that they hired a company to handle the painting.
“We didn’t want this to be a sideshow thing,” he said. “We knew this was going to be a big deal, so we needed it to look good. I’m not out to make upset neighbors.”