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Tag Archives: funeral protest

4th Circuit rules for funeral picketers

The $5 million verdict against the Westboro Baptist Church, the fundamentalist sect from Kansas that has attracted national media attention for picketing at military funerals, has been reversed. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond overturned a Baltimore jury's award to Albert Snyder for the emotional distress he suffered when members of the Phelps family picketed his Marine son's funeral in 2006. "We are constrained to agree that these signs are entitled to First Amendment protection," Judge Robert B. King wrote for the federal appeals court.

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ACLU threatens suit over funeral protest laws

The ACLU is putting cities that ban protests at funerals on notice. The American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri and Westboro Baptist Church have sued six cities and sent letters to 15 municipalities threatening litigation unless they repeal their funeral protest ordinances. Thanks to the letters and lawsuits, funeral protest laws started falling last week in the St. Louis area. Maplewood repealed its ordinance Tuesday and O'Fallon and Wentzville council members and aldermen considered bills that would repeal theirs. The Village of Riverview has a vote on repealing its ban scheduled for an Aug. 27 board of trustees meeting.

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