West Virginians had scarcely finished recovering their dead from one of the nation’s worst coal mine disasters when more bad news came to call. In April, hatemonger Fred Phelps announced plans to picket sites across the state, accompanied by his band of antigay followers from Westboro Baptist Church. (Phelps believes that the miners died because God is punishing America for tolerating gays.) West Virginians weren’t about to stand by while Phelps and company spewed invective. They staged a...

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