Father Will Take Appeal To Supreme Court

WBAL News, Maryland/October 07, 2009

The father of a Maryland Marine killed in the war in Iraq and who won a $5 million dollar verdict against the Westboro Baptist Church says he will take his appeal to the Supreme Court.

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the verdict several weeks ago citing the group's protests at soldiers funerals as protected by the First Amendment.

Al Snyder appeared on WBAL's Shari Elliker Wednesday morning. He says he is laying low and weighing his options but is definitely going to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.

A Baltimore federal jury awarded the millions to Snyder after he took Westboro Baptist to court following their protest at the funeral of Snyder's son, Matt.

Snyder says the church members were holding signs with hateful messages during his son's funeral.

"I am all for freedom of speech, don't get me wrong. But a funeral is not the place for it. You know, go to the park, go to the White House, go anywhere," says Snyder.

Snyder says he filed the suit to stop the church members from protesting at soldiers funerals. It was not about money he says.

An attorney for the Westboro Baptist Church has argued the messages were grounded in their religious beliefs and protected by the Constitution.

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