Robin Williams funeral protest planned

Last updated 00:41 17/08/2014
Westboro Baptist Church
Reuters

HATE SPEECH: Westboro Baptist Church members at an earlier protest.

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Members of the controversial Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church are planning a protest at actor Robin Williams' funeral over his portrayal of a gay man in The Birdcage.

The Good Will Hunting star passed away on Monday and while details of his funeral have not been made public, members of the church have already announced plans to picket the memorial.

A message posted on the group's official Twitter page reads: "Westboro Baptist Church Hopes To Preach In Lawful Proximity To Robin Williams' Funeral - To Warn The Living: Repent Or Likewise Perish."

However, organisers at the global non-profit group Planting Peace have launched a fund-raiser to counter the church's plans. A message from co-founder Aaron Jackson reads: "Robin Williams played many different roles in so many people's lives, and giving back to others was at the top of that list.

"His appeal crossed generational boundaries. I was personally impacted when I heard of his passing. This is a small gesture to honour his legacy and the difference he made to so many," he said.

Mr Jackson said that when the WBC announced they were protesting at the star's funeral, "we felt like launching a fund-raiser for a charity Robin loved would be the perfect way to honour him and counteract the message of hate and intolerance that the WBC continues to convey."

The proceeds from the fund-raiser will benefit St Jude Children's Hospital, which Williams supported during his life.

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