The Westboro petition, one of many on the Obama administration’s ‘We the People’ website, has garnered twice as many signatures as any other petition on the site.
A petition calling on the U.S. government to officially label the Westboro Baptist Church a hate group has become the most popular on the White House website, with more than 265,000 people signing on.
That tally is more than double any other petition on the White House “We the People” website, which was created to let Americans make direct requests of the Obama administration.
Separate petitions calling on the government to investigate or revoke the group’s tax-exempt status have also received well over the 25,000 signatures required to trigger an official response from the White House.
The Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church is infamous for picketing the funerals of soldiers and victims of hate crimes.
The petition was created Dec. 14, the day of the mass shooting that killed 20 young students and 6 adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
The group had threatened to protest at the funeral of Sandy Hook Elementary School principal Dawn Hochsprung, but it was headed off by a counter-protest of motorcyclists.
The petition notes that Westboro Baptist is already recognized as a hate group by organizations like The Southern Poverty Law Center.
“Their actions have been directed at many groups, including homosexuals, military, Jewish people and even other Christians,” it reads. “They pose a threat to the welfare and treatment of others and will not improve without some form of imposed regulation.”