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Topeka, Kansas

Equality House

A rainbow-colored house promotes LGBTQ tolerance right across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church. 

Located directly across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, a notorious hate group that targets the LGBTQ community, a house sports the rainbow colors of the gay pride flag. The boldly colored Equality House is a headquarters of nonprofit Planting Peace, acting as a visual reminder of the group’s commitment to LGBTQ rights.

Planting Peace uses the house as the epicenter for its human rights initiatives. The house received its colorful exterior in 2013 after a military veteran agreed to paint it with the colors symbolic of gay pride. Anyone is encouraged to visit—up to 150 people stop by on any given day. It’s a welcoming, comforting spot for many within a community that is so often antagonized. 

However, not everyone supports the brightly colored abode. In 2016, it was vandalized with bullet holes and spray painted slurs. The Westboro Baptist Church has protested events held on its lawn.

But that hasn’t stopped Planting Peace from continuing to add a touch of tolerance to the neighborhood. In 2016, the organization bought the neighboring house and painted it with the blue, pink, and white colors of the transgender flag.