UK entry ban
In February 2009, British news sources discovered that WBC had announced on their website that they intended to picket a youth production of The Laramie Project to be held at Central Studio, Queen Mary's College in the town of Basingstoke, Hampshire, on February 20, 2009. This would have been their first ever picket in the United Kingdom.
On the lead-up to the picket, a number of MPs, lobby groups and LGBT groups appealed to the British Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, requesting these individuals be blocked from entering the UK, on the basis that WBC would be inciting hatred towards LGBT people. On February 18, 2009, two days before the intended picket date, the Home Office announced that Fred Phelps and Shirley Phelps-Roper would be specifically excluded from entering the UK for having "engaged in unacceptable behaviour by inciting hatred against a number of communities", and that "other church members could also be flagged and stopped if they tried to enter Britain".
An alliance of six British religious groups (the Baptist Union of Great Britain, Evangelical Alliance UK, Faithworks, Methodist Church of Great Britain, United Reformed Church and Bible Society-funded thinktank Theos) made a joint statement on February 19, 2009 in support of the government's decision and condemning the activities of the Westboro Baptist Church saying, "We do not share [Westboro's] hatred of lesbian and gay people. We believe that God loves all, irrespective of sexual orientation, and we unreservedly stand against their message of hate toward those communities.
Even our religious nuts are civilised.