In an 8 to 1 decision, the Supreme Court ruled this week in favor of a group of Christian anti-gay activists who protest outside funerals of fallen U.S. soldiers.
Albert Snyder, the father of a Marine who died in combat in 2006, sued Pastor Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas for invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress and civil conspiracy. The church group demonstrated outside of Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder’s funeral with signs reading, “Thank God for dead soldiers” and “AIDS cures fags.”
Although Snyder initially won his lawsuit and was awarded millions of dollars in damages, the Supreme Court reversed the decision.
They called the church’s contribution to public discourse “negligible” and acknowledged their speech “inflict(ed) great pain” but said ultimately the First Amendment shields “matters of public import on public property (conducted) in a peaceful manner and in full compliance with local officials.”
Members of the Westboro Baptist Church believe U.S. soldiers deserve to die because they fight for a country that permits homosexual behavior.
Did the Supreme Court make the right decision siding with protestors who demonstrate at the funerals of American soldiers?