WASHINGTON The White House says it can't fulfill a request to deem a group that protests at soldiers' funerals a hate group.
But it says President Obama believes such actions are reprehensible.
The Obama administration is responding to petitions through the White House website to label the Westboro Baptist Church a hate group and revoke its tax-exempt status.
Almost 700,000 people signed five related petitions.}
The group claims when American troops die, it's God's punishment for America tolerating homosexuality and abortion.
The White House says the federal government doesn't maintain a list of hate groups. But it's releasing a map showing where the petition-signers come from.
The map shows high density in Kansas, where the Westboro group is based, and Connecticut, where church members threatened to picket Newtown victims' funerals.