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Westboro Baptist Church makes gay marriage protest blunder, gets called out by JK Rowling

Members of the Westboro Baptist Church accidentally flipped the flag of Ireland while protesting the country's historic gay marriage vote.
Members of the Westboro Baptist Church accidentally flipped the flag of Ireland while protesting the country's historic gay marriage vote. Screen Grab/Westboro Baptist Church/Vine

The Westboro Baptist Church is causing a stir online over Ireland’s historic vote in favour of gay marriage, prompting prominent author JK Rowling to fire back.

The group initially posted a photo emblazoned with the words “God Hates Ireland” alongside a tweet on Saturday that said they had “Warned all of Ireland AND UK the was coming, in many ways,” despite the fact that the popular hashtag has been used in a positive way on social media.

But their hateful message didn’t make much of an impact on supporters of Ireland’s landmark decision and hurt their credibility even more by holding the Irish flag upside down, which represents the flag of the Ivory Coast instead.

In a Vine video posted Sunday, the group tried to cover up the mistake by saying flags are turned upside down in times of duress, implying they intentionally made the blunder to highlight their disagreement with the vote, but seemed to misunderstand that the flag was backwards – not upside down.

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When that failed, they attempted to cover their tracks again in a tweet Sunday that said in their opinion, God hates the Ivory Coast as well.

The group has made international headlines in the past for protesting the funerals of soldiers, homosexuals and even celebrities such as Roger Ebert, who they say was a “f** enabler.”

They also picked up on a tweet from prominent UK author JK Rowling, who said she would support the marriage of two fictional characters, Albus Dumbledore from the Harry Potter series and Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

But the group continued to stir the pot by saying they would picket the fictional union in a tweet with a confusing photo of the two wizards.

Rowling fired back just hours later with a sharply worded tweet that mocked the group’s “tiny bigoted minds.”

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While her supporters encouraged the quick comeback, some were discouraged that she would waste time engaging with the group, who are notoriously bad at reasoning with those who disagree with their hateful approach.

Although Rowling clearly doesn’t agree with adding more fuel to the fire and giving the group even more attention, she tweeted early Wednesday that she engaged the group on behalf of “scared gay kids” who would benefit from seeing hate speech challenged.

Unfortunately for Rowling, the group doesn’t show any signs of slowing down but admitted in a tweet on Wednesday that more people probably read the Harry Potter series than the Bible.

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