02/10/2014 11:00 am ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Jonathan Rauch, Author And Gay Rights Activist, Says He Welcomes Westboro Baptist Church Protests

Author, journalist and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights advocate Jonathan Rauch expressed a surprising viewpoint of the Westboro Baptist Church in an appearance on HuffPost Live last week, saying he welcomed the anti-LGBT church's protests.

Saying the church's notorious "God Hates Fags" tagline was not a "direct and personal threat," Rauch said the line "shows how crazy the other side is," and that their freedom of expression should be protected "for the benefit of minorities."

Rauch is the co-author of Kindly Inquisitors: The New Attacks on Free Thought, which was released on Jan. 23.

Fordham law professor Thane Rosenbaum felt differently, pointing to Westboro's anti-gay protests at military funerals.

"I'll tell you what there's not a lot of freedom of speech for: questioning freedom of speech," he added.