Fred Phelps Sr., best known as the "God Hates Fags" fundamentalist minister from Kansas, is near death at a hospice. Phelps, age 84, headed the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, from where he staged ugly campaigns nationally against the LGBT community.
Reports also have surfaced that Phelps was excommunicated from the Westboro church in apparent coup d'etat by fellow church board members last August. His estranged son, Nathan, confirmed the excommunication, but the reason church leaders took the step is unclear.
"I'm not sure how I feel about this," Nathan Phelps wrote on his Facebook page. "Terribly ironic that his devotion to his god ends this way. Destroyed by the monster he made."