Gypsies, Tramps and Bigots

Kansas anti-gay reverend brings his traveling theater to OC

The preacher shook his sign and said slowly, "You are going to hell."

"I'm going to hell because I don't hate people?"

An obese protester in her late 50s lowered her placard, stepped toward Grunden, squinted and shrieked, "You are a whore!"

"I can't believe how sick you people are," said the teenager.

The protesters looked at one another and laughed. One said, "You're on some bad crack, girl." Another said, "And you're a pervert."

Before leading her daughter away, Connie Himmel of Laguna Beach scolded Phelps' crew. "I have a wonderful, beautiful daughter," she said. "You people are nothing but trash. Gay people have just as much right to do what they want as we do."

About that time, I asked Fred Phelps Jr. what he was thinking. He cracked a contented smile and leisurely scanned the view. "Laguna Beach is a beautiful city, isn't it? It's really incredible. It'd be a great place to live, I'd imagine," said the self-described civil-rights attorney as he held a sign: "Fags Die, God Laughs."

Rebecca Schoenkopf returns next week.

« Previous Page