Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder died serving his country in Iraq. At his funeral, the Phelps family showed up to protest. Snyder’s family sued them.
In a decision likely to strike many observers as cruel, a federal appeals court ordered the father of a Marine killed in Iraq whose funeral drew protesters from a church notorious for such demonstrations to pay the church leader’s $16,510 in legal fees.
It strikes me as cruel. Here’s a link to the initial AP article, which included this line:
The decision adds “insult to injury,” said Sean Summers, one of Snyder’s lawyers.
So, the Phelps “won” because they’re protected by the U.S. constitution. And, they spend their days trying to deny legal protections to others. Oh, the irony.
The Snyder family has a website:
The family of Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder, US Marine Corps, has begun this civil lawsuit* against Mr. Phelps and certain members of the so-called Westboro Baptist Church to bring an end to the reign of terror and abuse that they inflicted upon the grieving families of US service members killed in defense of our nation. Using innocent children to deliver their twisted message of hatred and fear, the defendants in this suit have sought to attack the memory of our departed heroes, to strip their loved ones of their dignity, and to use abuse and intimidation as a tool for preventing surviving family members from reaching closure over their loss.
It is the sincere hope of Mr. Al Snyder, Matthew’s father, that this suit will spark similar legal actions against Mr. Phelps wherever he seeks to inflict harm upon the memory of our heroes and their families. If you feel strongly that such actions should be stopped, please consider a donation to help offset the legal expenses of bringing this suit.