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10 Things Done Completely Out of Spite


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Painting a House into a Gay Pride Symbol
'Gandalf The White' and 'Albus Dumbledore' were married by Davis Hamnet, the director of operations of 'Planting Peace' on the front lawn of Equality House across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church Compound in Topeka, Kansas. Mark Reinstein/Corbis via Getty Images
'Gandalf The White' and 'Albus Dumbledore' were married by Davis Hamnet, the director of operations of 'Planting Peace' on the front lawn of Equality House across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church Compound in Topeka, Kansas. Mark Reinstein/Corbis via Getty Images

The Topeka-based Westboro Baptist Church has aroused the ire of quite a few people over the years, not just for what Time magazine calls its "virulently anti-homosexual views," but also for its members' practice of picketing military funerals to get their point across. But Aaron Jackson, who runs a nonprofit organization called Planting Peace, came up with an ingenious way to needle the church group and promote tolerance at the same time.

As Jackson told the magazine in 2013, he was checking out the church's location on Google Earth when he discovered that the house across the street had a "for sale" sign on it. Jackson quickly got in touch with a realtor to acquire the property, with the idea of turning it into a gay rights museum. Local zoning prevented that from happening, so Jackson instead opted to paint the house in bright hues to mimic the rainbow Pride Flag [source: Yang].

Unlike most spiteful gestures, Jackson's Equality House doesn't directly taunt Westboro, but simply confronts the church with an example of what it loathes. Since opening, it has hosted an assortment of events championing gay rights, ranging from a same-sex wedding to a "drag down bigotry" show featuring drag queens, to a fundraiser to help LGBT Russians who are subject to discrimination and mistreatment in their country [source: Nichols].


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