Military funeral protestors ordered to pay $10.9 million
A fundamentalist church that frequently protests at the funerals of fallen soldiers was ordered to pay $10.9 million in unspecified damages Wednesday to the grieving father of Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder who was killed in Iraq.
Albert Snyder of York, Pennsylvania filed a lawsuit against Kansas' Westboro Baptist church after members protested at his son's funeral in March 2006.
In court the defendants testified that they were spreading the message of the church that believes that the U.S. military deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan are divine punishment for America's tolerance of homosexuality. Protesters carry signs that read "God Hates Fags", "Thank God for Dead Soldiers" and "Thank God for IEDs."
Snyder based his claim on the fact that the protest disturbed what should have been a private ceremony.
"Albert Snyder's claimed physical injury is that the protest exacerbated his diabetes," The blog "Overlawyered.com" said. But the blog called this "junk science."
The church members plan to appeal the verdict they received from the Baltimore jury.