October 5th, 2010
02:31 PM ET

Anti-gay church, grieving father square off over free speech, privacy

Editor's Note: CNN Supreme Court Producer Bill Mears files this report from Westminster, Maryland. The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on this case Wednesday.

Matthew Snyder's funeral was to be a private affair, with family and friends gathering at a Catholic church to mourn the 20-year-old Marine who died a hero in Iraq, serving his country.

But Matt's father says his grief was compounded by anger and helplessness because of about a dozen unwanted visitors, a fringe group standing at the center of a constitutional showdown.

"I was just shocked that any individual could do this to another human being," Albert Snyder told CNN. "I mean, it was inhuman."

He speaks of members of a small Kansas church who have gained nationwide attention for protesting loudly at funerals of U.S. service members, denouncing homosexuality. Both sides will now receive a Supreme Court hearing over their competing constitutional rights. Oral arguments are Wednesday morning, with a final ruling some months away.

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- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Church • Courts • Culture wars

soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Richard S Kaiser

    Freedom of Relgion is a Crucial Crux For the Globalization Movement, BUT, The Ability to Mount a Publicized Movement of Morality's Decadent Few, should be held Accountable in Lieu of Open and Bawdy Demonstratives Unworthy of Praises.

    July 19, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  2. Patti

    I am a Christian,but when it comes to the Westboro Baptist crew, my thoughts are not very Christian . Everytime that Margie Phelps opens her big mouth, I would like to put my foot in it. They are about a lousy bunch of vermin as I have ever seen. I hope somebody stops these liars!

    October 7, 2010 at 8:31 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.