Heath Ledger’s compassionate depiction of gay character Ennis Del Mar in Brokeback Mountain has garnered the wrath of the Westboro Baptist Church. The church announced that it will picket the actor’s memorial in the states, and claims that Ledger died because he played Del Mar in the award-winning film.

The Topeka, Kan.-based church is well-known for its anti-gay message, and in recent years has picketed the funerals of many soldiers who died in Iraq, claiming that homosexuals are the cause of the continued war.

A press release from the church announced that members would picket the American memorial services of the actor. “Heath Ledger is now in Hell, and has begun serving his eternal sentence there,” read the release.

“Heath Ledger thought it was great fun defying God Almight and His plain word; to wit; God Hates Fags! & Fag-Enablers! Ergo, God hates the sordid, tacky bucket of slime seasoned with vomit known as “Brokeback Mountain”—and He hates all persons having anything whatsoever to do with it. [sic]”

Westboro runs several Web sites, including GodHatesAmerica.com and GodHatesFags.com. The church is classified as a hate group by the Anti-Defamation League.

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