Funeral Protestors Win Appeal

October 14, 2009 | | Comments 0

new jerseyOne of the major problems that funeral directors and grieving families have had to deal with in recent years is the group of people from a “church” in Kansas that protest at funerals. For months, they have been showing up at funerals for soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice and others who have been in the service of this country in some form or another. They protest because they say those people are dying because God hates America.

A recent court case brought the church to trial, however, saying that their speech was not protected under the First Amendment as it constituted “hate speech.” After losing the case, a federal appeals court overturned the decision, saying the church has a right to protest regardless of how unpopular their message is.

“Our speech, on our signs and our Web sites, is public speech,” explains Margie Jean Phelps, the daughter of Reverend Fred W. Phelps, Sr., the pastor of the Westboro Kansas Church. “It’s not on private matters. It’s on public issues, so it’s protected.”

For now, it seems like funeral cars and mourners are going to have to dodge these protestors. They do have the right to speak their mind in the United States, even if it is a despicable message.

Filed Under: Funeral Industry

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