While petitions for states to secede from the United States have been making the news, American citizens have been filing petitions for other causes.
Today the following petition was launched on the White House website:
We petition the Obama Administration to:
Legally recognize Westboro Baptist Church as a hate group.
These people are responsible for hatred and harassment aimed at countless groups of people to include Military, Gays, Christians, Jews, Muslims, and America (where they live) as a whole. They picket Military funerals with complete disregard for feelings or respect to the friends, family, and people that care. They also picket other religious sites harassing those groups as well and get protection from the police on top of that (who knows why?). They claim that God "Hates" everyone except them and that we will all burn in hell because we support and defend America. The fact that WWW.GODHATESFAGS.COM is their website says enough about them.
The Southern Poverty Law Center lists Westboro Baptist Church as a hate group.
Meanwhile the federal government's focus is on hate crimes. Congress passed the Hate Crime Statistics Act of 1990 and mandated that the U.S. Attorney General would collect hate crimes statistics. The Church Arson Prevention Act of 1996 required these hate crime statistics be recorded annually in the Uniform Crime Reporting Program.
For more information about hate crimes in America, check out the UCR Hate Crimes Data Collection Guidelines.