Westboro Baptist Church Leader Fred Phelps a Democrat

Endorsed Gore and Clinton, ran for office five times in Democratic primaries

The founder of Westboro Baptist Church, Fred Phelps, notorious for leading hateful protests against gay rights, is actually a Democrat with long history of endorsing Democratic candidates.

On Tuesday, Politico provided some background on Phelps' political history, most of which saw him endorsing Democrat candidates and running for office a number of times as a Democrat. In the 1990's, Phelps ran in three Kansas Democratic primaries for Governor in 1990, 1994, and 1998, receiving only 15% of the vote. He also ran for Senator in 1992, receiving 31% of the vote, and for mayor of Topeka in 1993 and 1997.

Phelp's endorsed Al Gore for the 1988 Presidential candidacy due to his opposition to a "gay bill of rights" and comments that homosexuality wasn't something "society should affirm." Phelps and his congregation later picketed the 1997 inaugural ceremony after he switched his opinions on gay rights. He also endorsed Bill Clinton in 1992.

In 1997, Phelps wrote a letter to Saddam Hussein, praising him for being "the only Muslim state that allows the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to be freely and openly preached on the streets." Hussein then granted Phelps permission to send a delegation to "preach the Gospel" for one week. Church congregates then traveled to Iraq where they protested the U.S. by standing on the streets of Baghdad holding signs condemning Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Phelps has also led protests against the funerals of Ronald Reagan, Barry Goldwater, and William Rehnquist.

On Sunday, Phelps was reported to be "on the edge of death" in hospice care.