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Westboro Baptist Petition Nearing 300,000 Signatures; White House Response Still Pending

Westboro Baptist Petition Nearing 300,000 Signatures; White House Response Still Pending

As the White House petition calling for action against Westboro Baptist Church passes the 293,000 mark, signatories still await an official response from the Oval Office.

The petition was started on Dec. 14 and in fewer than two weeks received a quarter of a million online signatures. The document calls for Westboro Baptist Church to be labeled a "hate group."

"This group has been recognized as a hate group by organizations, such as The Southern Poverty Law Center, and has repeatedly displayed the actions typical of hate groups," reads the petition in part.

"Their actions have been directed at many groups, including homosexuals, military, Jewish people and even other Christians. They pose a threat to the welfare and treatment of others and will not improve without some form of imposed regulation."

The petition is part of the "We the People: Your Voice in Our Government" website, which was established by Obama Administration to create more direct communication between Americans and the White House.

"The idea of petitioning the White House or the government isn't new, but this online platform is," reads the "How & Why" section of the site.

"We the People provides a new way to petition the Obama Administration to take action on a range of important issues facing our country. We created We the People because we want to hear from you. If a petition gets enough support, White House staff will review it, ensure it's sent to the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response."

Although the White House has stated that it will respond to any petition that receives more than 25,000 signatures, it has yet to issue a formal response to the Westboro Baptist petition.

Long known for its protesting of military funerals and homophobic rhetoric and unaffiliated with any Baptist denomination, WBC announced their intentions to picket the funerals of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

In response to the announcement by the WBC, no fewer than five petitions were posted on the White House site, gathering over 470,000 signatures combined.

The largest, created by "Grant B." on the day of the tragedy and the WBC announcement, passed the 293,000 mark on Friday and continues to receive signatures.

As the White House has yet to respond to the WBC petition, it has posted an official response to the 33 petitions created demanding federal gun control reforms. The largest of those 33 petitions garnered a little over 31,000 signatures.

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