|Born||Shirley Lynn Phelps
October 31, 1957
|Relatives||Nathan Phelps (brother)|
Shirley Lynn Phelps-Roper (born October 31, 1957) is an American lawyer and political activist. She is best known as the spokesperson of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, an organization known for its highly publicized homophobic public protests conducted under the slogan "God Hates Fags." Phelps has been highly criticised and taunted for her religious fanaticism and poor parenting by the media.
Shirley L. Phelps-Roper was born October 31, 1957 in Topeka, Kansas. She is the daughter of pastor Fred Phelps, minister of the Westboro Baptist Church, an independent church characterized as a hate group by the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center. She and the church have received media coverage for the group's aggressive preaching and controversial campaigns such as the picketing the funerals of AIDS victims with signs such as "God hates fags" and funeral processions for American soldiers killed in combat.
Phelps-Roper received a B.A. in Criminal Justice from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas in 1979 and a J.D. degree from Washburn in 1981. She practices for Phelps-Chartered Co., the Phelps family's law firm established by her father in 1964, and is currently licensed to practice before all Kansas courts up through the United States Supreme Court.
Besides her father Fred, Shirley Phelps-Roper has been the most active spokesperson of the Westboro Baptist Church and answers many of the e-mails sent to the church in a column called "Dear Shirley."
She is married to Brent D. Roper and they have 11 children, 3 of which (Joshua, Megan, & Grace) have left the church and family. In a 2007 UK documentary by Welsh personality Keith Allen, in which Phelps-Roper and some of her children agreed to appear, Phelps-Roper is shown admitting on camera that her oldest son was born out of wedlock. Allen found hypocritical Phelps-Roper's vocal condemnation of strangers having sexual congress outside of marriage while she herself had made the same decision to behave in this way. According to Kansas City's The Pitch, Phelps-Roper doesn't deny that her son Sam, who was later adopted by Brent Roper, was born out of wedlock but refuses to reveal the identity of his biological father. The article states that estranged family members claim he was a man who was staying at a halfway house where she was doing her college internship.
Phelps-Roper was a named a defendant in the Supreme Court case Snyder v. Phelps. She is currently on the list of individuals banned from entering the United Kingdom for "fostering extremism or hatred."
Phelps-Roper was arrested on June 5, 2007, on suspicion of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Police alleged that she allowed her son to trample an American flag while protesting the funeral of a soldier in Bellevue, Nebraska, which is a misdemeanor in the state. Phelps-Roper announced her intent to challenge the constitutionality of the Nebraska statute. The charges against her were subsequently dropped when she agreed to dismiss pending lawsuits filed against Sarpy County in state and federal court.
- Anti-Defamation League (2006). "Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church". Retrieved 2007-02-23.
- Southern Poverty Law Center " The Year in Hate:2005". Accessed 5 October 2006.
- Southern Poverty Law Center. Active U.S. Hate Groups in 2005. Accessed 5 October 2006.
- ""The Most Hated Family in America" bbc.co.uk March 30, 2007". BBC News. 2007-03-30. Retrieved 2011-08-30.
- "Shirley L. Phelps-Roper," phelpschartered.com/ Retrieved September 9, 2010.
- "Firm History," phelpschartered.com/ Retrieved September 9, 2010.
- Dear Shirley
- Allen, Keith (Director) (2007). Keith Allen Will Burn In Hell (Television documentary). UK: Channel 4 Television Corporation.
- Keith Allen will Burn in Hell At 33:29: Allen: "Is he [Samuel Phelps-Roper] the illegitimate son?" Phelps-Roper: "He's my son." Allen: "Is he the illegitimate son?" Phelps-Roper: "Yes." Allen: "Are you going to hell?" Phelps-Roper: "If the lord Jesus Christ did not die on that cross for me, for my sins, I am going to hell." Allen: "Are you going to hell because you had a child out of wedlock?" Phelps-Roper: "That would not be the reason."
- The Pitch, Kansas City The New Fred: Shirley Phelps-Roper is just like her notorious father — except in one crucial way. By Justin Kendall. November 2, 2006. "In 1979, Shirley Phelps gave birth to a child out of wedlock. Estranged family members tell the Pitch that she became romantically involved with a man who was staying at a halfway house where she was doing her college internship. At the time, she was majoring in criminal justice at Washburn University in Topeka...The child's biological father wasn't accepted into Westboro Baptist Church...Phelps-Roper doesn't deny that her son Sam was born out of wedlock. She refuses to reveal the name of the biological father."
- ""UK 'least wanted' list published"; ''BBC Online''; May 5, ". BBC News. 2009-05-05. Retrieved 2011-08-30.
- ""Phelps-Roper Arrested in Nebraska";". Wibw.com. Retrieved 2011-08-30.
- "Funeral protester faces charges after child stomps on flag";
- ""Charges against Phelps-Roper in Nebraska protest dropped" The Associated Press, August 23, 2010". Ktka.com. Retrieved 2011-08-30.
- POSTED: 7:32 am CDT August 23, 2010 (2010-08-23). ""Charges To Be Dismissed Against Phelps-Roper Funeral Protester Will Drop Lawsuits In Exchange For Dismissal" August 23, 2010". Ketv.com. Retrieved 2011-08-30.
- Westboro Baptist Church home page, godhatesfags.com. Retrieved September 9, 2010.
- Justin Kendall, "The New Fred: Shirley Phelps-Roper is just like her notorious father — except in one crucial way," pitch.com, November 2, 2006. Retrieved September 9, 2010.
- Kevin Bussey, "Interview with Shirley Phelps-Roper," kevinbussey.com, December 12, 2007. Retrieved September 9, 2010.
- Interview with Louis Theroux, "America's Most Hated Family," BBC news, March 30, 2007. Retrieved September 9, 2010.
- An interview on The David Pakman Show The David Pakman Show ] with a representative of the hacktivist group Anonymous (who hacks the church's website on-air)