Via August, I learn that the president has proclaimed Oct. 12 through 18 Marriage Protection Week. As August points out, Oct. 12 is the anniversary of the death of Matthew Shepard. And if you think the timing is just an unfortunate coincidence, well, you know, bridge. For sale. And so on.

The notorious Fred Phelps, on the other hand, is not quite as subtle about these things as Karl Rove:

Casper, Wyoming) Anti-gay preacher Fred Phelps has announced intentions to erect a monument to Matthew Shepard the gay college student brutally murdered five years ago near Laramie.

But, the monument will be no memorial. Phelps says the monument would be 5 to 6 feet tall and made of marble or granite. It would bear a bronze plaque bearing the image of Shepard and have an inscription reading “MATTHEW SHEPARD, Entered Hell October 12, 1998, in Defiance of God’s Warning: ‘Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; it is abomination.’ Leviticus 18:22.”

The monument would be erected in downtown Casper, Shepard’s home town.

Phelps has sent details of the monument to the city of Casper city council and there may be nothing the city can do to prevent it.

Phelps said he intends to put up the monument in City Park, already the location of a controversial statue of the Ten Commandments.

The Ten Commandments statue was donated to the city by the Fraternal Order of the Eagles in 1965.

After a court battle over a similar monument in the city of Ogden, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that any city that displays a Ten Commandments monument on public property must also allow monuments espousing the views of other religions or political groups on that same property.