The White House: Americans are united in their hatred of Westboro Baptist

The White House has created a GIF to show how much Americans revile the anti-gay group

By Katie McDonough
Published July 3, 2013 1:12PM (EDT)
  (The White House)
(The White House)

The White House responded on Wednesday to several viral petitions urging the Obama administration to classify the Westboro Baptist Church as a hate group by creating a GIF to show how unified the United States is -- in their hatred for Westboro Baptist.

In a statement accompanying the GIF, which color maps where in the country people have signed the petitions, the White House says that the "federal government doesn't maintain a list of hate groups," but goes on to note that the groundswell of support for the petitions show "just how strong the bonds that unite us can be."

"Together," the statement continues, "we’re more resilient than those who would try to drive us apart":

Take, for instance, this map of all the signers of the petition "Legally recognize Westboro Baptist Church as a hate group" -- that we built with the zip codes that people chose to share with us when they signed. The darker color indicates a higher percentage of signers for that particular area's population. While support for these petitions came from all over the country, it was densely clustered in two places that have unique insight into the actions of the Westboro Baptist Church -- Kansas, the state the church calls home, and Newtown, Connecticut, where the church threatened to picket the funerals of those killed at Sandy Hook Elementary.

You can check it out here.


Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at

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Anti-gay Groups Discrimination Gay Rights Lgbt Rights The White House Westboro Baptist