The Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, KS, known for intimidating pro-gays or anti-gay messages, finds a rainbow home as its new neighbor thanks to Aaron Jackson, an activist who bought a house across the street from the church and painted it with rainbow colors.
Jackson, age 31, bought the house six months ago as a way to campaign against Westboro Baptist Church protesters who picket soldiers’ funerals and gay pride parades with an anti-God agenda.
The project is called “Equality House.” Jackson told the Huffington Post he got intrigued about Westboro Baptist Church after hearing a story on one of its protests in the news: “I didn’t know anything about the church or where they were located, but that story kept popping up. And one night I wondered, Where is this church? I got on Google Earth, and I was ‘walking down the road,’ and I did a 360 view. And I saw a ‘For Sale’ sign sitting in the front yard of a house. Right away it hit me, Oh my gosh, I could buy a house in front of the WBC! And immediately I thought: And I’m going to paint that thing the color of the pride flag.”
Jackson is a founder of Planting Peace, an international antipoverty, rainforest conservation, and orphanage charity. Jackson told the press he always desired to participate in gay activism, and the home sale presented him with the opportunity to do so. He told the Huffington Post gay rights were real issues even in 2013: “…But it is a real issue and kids are killing themselves. I’ve wanted to do something, and I knew when I saw that house for sale that it all came together…”
Planting Peace purchased a house across from the church for about $83,000. Jackson has been living in Topeka for a little over a month. The church was established in 1956.
Jackson reported he witnessed church members photographing his house. The house has an industrial flagpole which flies huge flags that oppose a flagpole in front of the Westboro Baptist Church that flies the gay pride flag and the American flag upside-down.
Jackson is moving ahead with steps to fight for equality for those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. Jackson told the Huffington Post he wants people to see his house as “a message that where there’s hate, there’s also love.” He plans to make people more aware of anti-bullying programs. Volunteers who will manage promoting equality messages will live at the house.