Members of the controversial Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church are planning a protest at tragic actor Robin Williams’ funeral over his portrayal of a gay man in the movie The Birdcage.
The Good Will Hunting star passed away on Monday and while details of his funeral have not been made public, members of the church have already announced plans to picket the memorial.
A message posted on the group’s official Twitter.com page reads: ‘Westboro Baptist Church Hopes To Preach In Lawful Proximity To Robin Williams’ Funeral – To Warn The Living: Repent Or Likewise Perish.’
However, organisers at the global non-profit organisation Planting Peace have launched a fundraiser to counter the church’s plans.
A message from co-founder Aaron Jackson reads: “Robin Williams played many different roles in so many people’s lives, and giving back to others was at the top of that list.
“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 made to so many,” he said.
Jackson said that when the WBC announced they were protesting the star’s funeral, “we felt like launching a fundraiser for a charity Robin loved would be the perfect way to honour him and counteract the message of hate and intolerance that the WBC continues to convey”.
The proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit St Jude Children’s Hospital, which Williams supported during his life.