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KU Queers and Allies group bringing Phelps' estranged son to speak


KU's Queers and Allies student group has an event coming up that caught my eye: a visit from Nate Phelps.

That's Nate Phelps, the estranged son of Fred Phelps, the longtime leader of Topeka's Westboro Baptist Church. The KU Student Senate last week approved the use of $1,000 in student-fee funds to bring him in to speak on campus in April.

Nate left the church and his family on his 18th birthday, more than 30 years ago. Since then he has spoken out against the church, known for its anti-gay protests at funerals and other events, and in favor of rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people.

KU junior Ailee Cassel, the president of the Queers and Allies group, told me he's set to speak on April 19, during the group's monthlong pride celebration called "Gaypril." She said the time and location of the talk hadn't yet been nailed down. She said she'd heard a lot of curiosity about the Phelps family recently, which was part of why the group extended the invitation, but she wasn't sure how much Nate might talk about the family during his speech.

We'll let you know when more details are worked out. In the meantime, keep those KU news tips coming to merickson@ljworld.com.


unsolvedmysteries 2 years, 9 months ago

This should be a very interesting speaker. Glad Q&A will be able to bring him to campus!

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 9 months ago

I was at Nate Phelps' talk in Topeka on April 24, 2010 in Topeka, which was attended by about 675 people. He's a rather good speaker, and the story of his escape from the family was riveting. But, considering the size of the gathering in Topeka, I hope that a venue of appropriate size can be located.


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