The true story behind the new rainbow house across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church

By Megan Carpentier
Saturday, March 23, 2013 13:29 EDT
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On Melissa Harris-Perry’s eponymous show on Saturday, she brought viewers up to speed on the now-infamous rainbow-painted house that sits across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church, most famous for its anti-gay activism.

Aaron Jackson, the man behind the house, is the co-founder of the group Planting Peace — and not a resident of Topeka, Kansas. “Aaron’s group has been active around the world for eight years now,” said Harris-Perry, “Opening orphanages in Haiti and in India, planting trees in the rainforests of South America and launching a health program to help children in developing nations.”

Aaron, she said, decided to do a little visible activism of his own. “Aaron decided to use Westboro’s tactics against them — but not in a way that makes war, but rather in a way that generates peace. He bought that little house and decided to paint it in the rainbow colors of the gay pride flag, and dubbed it the Equality House.”

Harris-Perry added, “Aaron and Planting Peace intend to use the publicity and funds that they are receiving from this house to bolster existing anti-bullying campaigns and to eventually create their own anti-bullying initiatives.”

Watch the video, which first aired on MSNBC on March 23, 2013, below:

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Megan Carpentier
Megan Carpentier is the executive editor of Raw Story. She previously served as an associate editor at Talking Points Memo; the editor of news and politics at Air America; an editor at Jezebel.com; and an associate editor at Wonkette. Her published works include pieces for the Washington Post, the Washington Independent, Ms Magazine, RH Reality Check, the Women's Media Center, On the Issues, the New York Press, Bitch and Women's eNews.
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