Planting Peace is a Florida-based nonprofit group started in 2004 whose initiatives include deworming projects, rainforest conservation and opening orphanages. In their most recent effort to “plant peace,” the group bought a house across the street from the notoriously homophobic Westboro Baptist Church and boldly decided to paint it with the rainbow pattern of the gay pride flag.
Aaron Jackson is 31 and the president and founder of Planting Peace. He got the idea to buy the home after he found a picture of nine-year-old Josef Miles walking around with a small sign that read “God hates no one,” in response to picketing efforts by the Westboro Baptist Church. Using Google Maps, Jackson discovered that the house across the street was for sale.
After six months of negotiations, Planting Peace bought the house for approximately $83,000, and despite some delays in painting because of cold winter weather, the house finally got it’s rainbow coat Tuesday morning.
The house has been named the Equality House and will be used to house volunteers whose main goal is to push Planting Peace’s anti-bullying initiative and combat the message that gay is wrong.
“We thought there was no better place to start than the Westboro Baptist Church,” Jackson said. “Obviously, they aren’t the most powerful group, but they are the poster child.”
Both fortunately and unfortunately, Westboro Baptist Church doesn’t seem to be too phased by the rainbow house.
Steve Drain is a member of the church and told the NY Daily News that to them it’s nothing more than a “goofy rainbow house.”
“It think it’s amazing,” Drain said. “I thank God for that house, because what it does is shine a brighter and brighter light on our message. This is just another instance where someone is declaring their sin as Sodom.”
He affirmed the church’s message read something like “God hates fags” and “God hates fag-enablers.”
Along with the house, Planting Peace is in the midst of trying to raise $1 million to support exisiting equality and anti-bullying programs, according to Advocate.com. So far they have raised $10,000.