Thursday, October 25, 2007

Trial of Westboro Church Anti-Gay Funeral Picketers Opens

Yesterday's Baltimore Sun reports on the opening in Baltimore's federal district court of the trial charging Westboro Baptist Church and its leaders with intentional infliction of emotional distress and invasion of privacy for the picketing of the funeral of Iraq veteran Matthew Snyder. (See prior posting.) Defendant Shirley Phelps-Roper, representing herself, told jurors that protesters remained out of sight, 1,000 feet away from the funeral of Lance Cpl. Snyder. She said that plaintiff Albert Snyder did not even see the picketers on his way to his son's burial. However Snyder's attorney told jurors that his client knew about the protests as he went to the funeral, and that since the funeral Snyder has suffered complications from diabetes. Westboro members regularly picket veterans' funerals to protest alleged U.S. acceptance of homosexuality. Among the signs carried near Snyder's funeral was one that read "Thank God for dead soldiers."