I can’t begin to tell you how disappointed I am that the Supreme Court did not uphold the lower court in his action. I did not read the appeal or the earlier judgment, and only know what I believe to be the moral question: can anyone interfere in the grief of a family at a loved one’s funeral? Had it been one of my family, I would not have appealed to a court of law, I would have been a defendant for assault…or worse. However, the Supreme Court felt obliged to let “free speech” overwhelm common decency…it this case I can only ask what they would have ruled had it been the funeral of one of their loved ones. This is a partial article from CNN:
Washington (CNN) — A Kansas church that attracted nationwide attention for its angry, anti-gay protests at the funerals of U.S. military members has won its appeal at the Supreme Court, an issue testing the competing constitutional rights of free speech and privacy.
The justices, by an 8-1 vote, said Wednesday that members of Westboro Baptist Church had a right to promote what they call a broad-based message on public matters such as wars. The father of a fallen Marine had sued the small church, saying those protests amounted to targeted harassment and an intentional infliction of emotional distress.
“Speech is powerful. It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and — as it did here — inflict great pain. On the facts before us, we cannot react to that pain by punishing the speaker,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the majority.
At issue was a delicate test between the privacy rights of grieving families and the free speech rights of demonstrators, however disturbing and provocative their message. Several states have attempted to impose specific limits on when and where the church members can protest.
The church, led by pastor Fred Phelps, believes God is punishing the United States for “the sin of homosexuality” through events including soldiers’ deaths. Members have traveled the country shouting at grieving families at funerals and displaying such signs as
“Thank God for dead soldiers,” “God blew up the troops” and “AIDS cures fags.”
End of partial article
These assholes, each and everyone of them, male or female, deserve at the least, a good old country ass whippin’.