Nearly 250,000 people have signed a White House petition that would label Westboro Baptist Church as a hate group after its members announced plans to picket a vigil for children killed in the Newtown, Connecticut school massacre.
The petition, which was created on December 14, had logged 247,170 signatures by Wednesday morning - making it the largest online White House petition in history.
Petitions need 25,000 signatures to be reviewed by the administration.
The Westboro Baptist Church has made national news in the past for its strong views against homosexuality. The religious group blames most tragedies - from the death of American soldiers to the recent massacre of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School - on what they call a 'pro-gay' agenda in the U.S.
The White House petition was formed after church spokesperson Shirey Phelps-Roper tweeted plans to protest a vigil for the Sandy Hook victims to 'sing praise to God for the glory of his work in executing his judgement.'
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