Members of the Westboro Baptist Church congregation demonstrate outside the U.S. Supreme Court as oral arguments are presented debating their right to protest near the funerals of fallen warriors. Photo by Craig Roberts

Legion laments funeral protest ruling

Following the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the legal right of the Westboro Baptist Church to stage anti-gay protests at military funerals, the leader of The American Legion expressed disappointment in the High Court’s 8-to-1 ruling.

It was a defeat for Albert Snyder, the father of a Marine killed in Iraq in 2006.

“While we understand the Supreme Court ruling and we appreciate the sanctity of freedom of speech, we are very disappointed that any American would believe it appropriate to express such sentiments as those expressed by the Westboro Baptist Church, especially at the funeral of an American hero who died defending the very freedoms this church abuses,” said Jimmie L. Foster, national commander of The American Legion.

“Our sympathy goes out to the Snyder family and all bereaved family members who have had to endure such abuse,” Foster said.

The American Legion had filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of the Snyder family. The Legion’s Burn Pit blog also helped the Snyder family monetarily, raising money for them to help cover their court fees against the Westboro Baptist Church, which won a $16,000-settlement against the family in an appeals court. The Legion Riders and Patriot Guard motorcycle groups will continue to be present at military funerals, providing security and masking the protests of Westboro members present.

Click here for further details surrounding the Supreme Court's ruling.