Anti-Gay Church Ordered to Pay Dead Marine's Family $11M

Jury says protests violate privacy
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 1, 2007 2:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – A fundamentalist Kansas church has been ordered to pay $11 million to the father of a Marine killed in Iraq after a jury decided that anti-gay church protesters violated the family's privacy. Members of Westboro Baptist Church routinely wave anti-gay posters at soldiers' funerals because they claim the war is punishment for the nation's tolerance of gays.

The Marine's family sued the church, claiming it invaded his privacy and inflicted emotional distress. Westboro insists its protests, which feature posters with slogans such as "Thank God for Dead Soldiers," are protected by the First Amendment. Church officials plan to appeal the ruling.