Westboro Baptist Church
Members of the Westboro Baptist Church are known for their homophobic vitriol.Richard Carson/Reuters

The person behind a popular 'God' spoof fanpage on Facebook has raised $40,000 (£24,000, 30,000) to buy billboards that read "God loves gays" and put them up around the headquarters of the Westboro Baptist Church.

The church, in Topeka, Kansas, is well known for its openly homophobic views. Its members regularly attract media attention for picketing the funerals of US soldiers, while its website's domain name is godhatesfags.com.

Followers of the 'God' Facebook page – there are 1.7 million of them – pledged the $40,000 in just 10 days, through the crowdfunding website IndieGoGo. Now the person who manages the 'God' page plans to use the money donated to "send a positive message into the world".

He announced on Facebook yesterday that he had booked the first billboard and that it will be erected in Topeka on 8 September.

God takes on the church

'God' is hoping to raise the total campaign amount of $50,000 within the next 60 days to completely fund the project, which includes 12 months of advertising space on the billboard, poster design, a campaign video and a website.

The website, godlovesgaypeople.com, has been bought by the creative force behind the project to drum up further support for the campaign.

The Westboro Baptist Church most recently courted controversy after announcing its members would picket the funeral of recently deceased actor Robin Williams. The church has called Williams a "fag pimp" for his open and passionate support for gay rights.

Watch the 'God Loves Gay People' campaign video below.