Because of Robin Williams' portrayal of a gay man in the film Birdcage, the fundamentalist Wesboro Baptist Church said it could picket the funeral of the comedian who is believed to have committed suicide on Monday due to depression.
The Telegraph reports that the church, notorious for its protest against homosexuality, announced its picket plan over Twitter on Saturday. In the past, the Kansas-based group for holding high-profile pickets ate military and other funerals by bannering picket signs that warn of eternal punishment for homosexuals, whether individuals or countries, that tolerate gays in any manner.
The church has described the funeral as a carcass worship fest. In the past, the Westboro Church has picketed the funeral of Michael Jackson, the Goo-Goo Dolls concert and upcoming events of Miranda Lambert which the group labeled an adulteress.
The tweet reads: "Westboro Baptist Church Hope To Preach In Lawful Proximity To Robin Williams' Funeral - The Warn The Living: Repent Or Likewise Perish."
In Birdcage, Williams played, a gay father, with Nathan Lane as his partner in the 1996 film.
But Planting Peace, a global non-profit group, has launched a fundraiser that aims to counter the Baptist Westboro Church's plan. Aaron Jackson, in a message, pointed out that beyond Williams' movie roles, the actor played many roles in other people's lives and gave back to others.
"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 has made to so many," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Jackson.
He said the fundraiser is the perfect way to honour the comedian and counter the hate and intolerance that Westboro plans with the picket. Jackson said the proceeds of the fundraiser would go to St Jude Children's Hospital that the star of Patch Adams supported.
Susan Schneider, the wife of Williams, is planning the funeral likely to be held in San Francisco. The option to televise the funeral was tackled and Schneider is expected to make a decision on the matter.