Did Fred Phelps die a man who didn’t ‘hate’ gays?

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The infamous founder of the Westboro Baptist Church apparently had a more liberal view on the LGBT community before passing away, claims a family member.

According to the Pastor’s grandson, Zacharias Phelps-Roper said his grandfather shared appreciation for the LGBT charity Planting Peace.

Planting Peace is an equal rights group set up directly opposite the Westboro Baptist Church, in protest of their anti-gay hate.

Planting Peace’s office is in the Equality House, a house painted in rainbow colours in support of the LGBT community.

Phelps-Roper posted on his Facebook: “I say, he spoke words to this effect to the Equality House: “You are good people.” I feel like he had a change of heart after my grandmother nearly passed away

“I think this triggered a chain reaction whereby he developed great empathy for others… which would explain why he would support Planting Peace’s anti-suicide and anti-bullying platforms.”

In an interview with HuffPost Live, Phelps-Roper went into more detail on his grandfather’s alleged change of heart.

“I think that he got over that [homophobia],” he said. “I don’t think he hated homosexuals by that point.

“My family took great notice of that and they called it rank blasphemy that he was coming out in support of the homosexuals.”

Phelps-Roper left the Westboro Baptist Church earlier this month because he no longer believed in the group’s hateful ways.

He explained that “The Westboro Baptist Church sees things differently” than him and that he has “unconditional love” for everyone.

In a statement following the claims, Planting Peace told The Huffington Post: “Although Fred spent many years believing and teaching very destructive ideology I think this is a great example of how even the hardest of hearts can change.”

Fred Phelps passed away in March aged 84.

In March, journalist and broadcaster Louis Theroux announced that he didn’t think Fred was gay, just “an angry bigot.”