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God Hates Fags Church Wins First Amendment Fight In Supreme Court

by David Badash on March 2, 2011

in Bigotry Watch,Civil Rights,Legal Issues,News

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“God Hates Fags” — the self-identified name of the Westboro Baptist Church — has just won in the U.S. Supreme Court over a first amendment free speech fight to picket outside military funerals. In a rare 8-1 decision, (Justice Alito dissented,) the Court upheld a lower court ruling that tossed a judgment to the father of a dead Marine who sued the Westboro Baptist Church after they had picketed his son’s military funeral. God Hates Fags, a hate group, pickets using signs that often read, “God hates fags,” “Thank God for 9/11,” “Thank God for AIDS,” and “U R going to hell.”

Read: “BREAKING: “Anonymous” Successfully Hacks “God Hates Fags” Websites

In the case, Snyder v. Phelps, “the justices were unanimous in their disgust for the Phelps, but concerned about punishing their speech. Justice Elena Kagan wondered if a ruling against the Phelps would require that signs at demonstrations be pre-approved,” according to Doug Gibson of the Standard-Examiner.

Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority, said, “Speech is powerful. It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and– as it did here– inflict great pain. On the facts before us, we cannot react to that pain by punishing the speaker.

The God Hates Fags Church most recently has been in the news after their public Internet-baed battle with the “hactivist” (Internet hacker) group, Anonymous. Anonymous took down Westboro’s Internet websites over one week ago. They have yet to be restored.

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Norma Campos March 2, 2011 at 10:57 am

wow thats sucks…my heart goes out to the family that had to deal with the church..i feel we have a right to freedom of speech but why hurt others who believe and see it diffrent..we all have diffrent views and those people shouldnt be cause anymore grief than whats been afflicted.

DeGuyz in Mississippi March 2, 2011 at 11:31 am

That is the fine line of free speech. As disgusting as it is, their downfall will be at the hands of one of the supporters who cross the line. The recent arrest of what has been said as a former member on obscenity charges outside of New Orleans makes me think twice about the rest of the members. He was fast to address the media. In reference to one sign they carry “America is doomed” maybe they should consider moving to another country ASAP. The sooner the better.

DeGuyz in Mississippi March 2, 2011 at 11:33 am

I always said that the ones who demonstrate the loudest against something are themselves guilty of the same things.

Rebecca Edwards March 2, 2011 at 7:49 pm

as disgusting as this hate group is, they do have the right to protest. but as i have said before, they need to keep in mind that those very people they are protesting (soldiers) died for their right to do so

Matthew March 2, 2011 at 9:37 pm

This is sickening

Anti-Christian March 4, 2011 at 10:18 pm

People who say they're religious and go on saying "God Hates Fags" or "You're going to hell" then you're not a religious person, period. I think those who "believe" they are religious, need to reread the bible and reassure their attitude towards hate. Also, for those opposed to homosexuality, do you even understand homosexuality, or do you just believe every word in the bible?

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