A White House petition to mark the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) as a hate group is currently the most popular petition with almost 300K signatures.
With the power of social media, it's become easier to get your message out. You can use international platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and so forth. Now, you can start online petitions at the White House. However, you need to get at least 25,000 signatures within a certain amount of time to get a White House response. You can pretty much do a petition for just about anything. This includes filing an online petition demanding that the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church be labeled as a hate group. Currently, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) already classifies the WBC as a hate-group; but, the church still has the tax-exempt status.
Currently, there is a White House petition to take away the WBC's tax-exempt status. The deadline to have 25,000 signatures is on January 15, 2013. But, the petition has a little over 45,000 signatures. In this respect, this petition should be getting a response from the White House.
There's also another similar petition that says to both remove the tax-exempt status of the WBC and brand it as a hate group. This petition has almost 61,000 signatures. This too has a deadline of January 15, 2013.
In the case of the main petition, there's a little over 280,000 signatures and growing. When you combine the three petitions together, you get almost 400,000 signatures. Perhaps the total of signatures from all the petitions could total over 500,000 by the 13th and the 15th of January.
One can ask: Why the petitions against the WBC?
The WBC has been known to picket mainly military funerals as part of its anti-LGBT movement. However, the WBC has expanded into picketing other places. But, that hadn't really triggered a petition of this current level. When something like this happens, there has to be a catalyst. The catalyst was the aftermath of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The WBC said that it planned to picket the funerals of those that died in the shooting. Due to the circumstances of Sandy Hook, there have been much national outrage. In this respect, the WBC picked the wrong funerals to picket. According to the WBC, what happened at Sandy Hook was punishment from God handed down to America because it tolerated homosexuality.
Of all the petitions, this growing petition against the WBC is currently the most popular. With those many signatures, the White House will have to respond. The question is this: What is the White House response going to be in regards to the petitions?