The vice mayor of Maricopa, Ariz. apologized Tuesday for praising the late founder of the Westboro Baptist Church in a Facebook post.
The Maricopa Monitor reported that Vice Mayor Ed Farrell on Monday shared an obituary for Fred Phelps, the former leader of the church organization known for its “God Hates Fags” slogan and its protests at military funerals, with the caption “We need more Fred Phelps in this world. May you rest in peace sir.”
But that obituary was published by the satirical website The Onion, according to the newspaper, and several commenters criticized Farrell’s praise for Phelps. “I am just having a hard time with all of this (sic) gay and lesbian rights thing. It has never been an issue until these kind of people made it an issue,” he replied to the critical commenters, as quoted by the Monitor.
Farrell told the newspaper in an interview Tuesday that he had found The Onion’s obituary “refreshing” after a recent unsettling experience, in which Farrell said a male employee took pictures of him in a health club shower without his consent.
“I had no idea who this Phelps guy was, I had no idea about the publication the Onion,” Farrell said, as quoted by the Monitor. “I was just simply scrolling down my news feed and saw this article.”
“I had no clue about this guy; he’s an idiot,” he added. “I can’t believe that I posted what I posted…shame on me.”
h/t Huffington Post
Photo via Facebook / Edward Farrell
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at email@example.com.