US Marine Matthew Snyder's family got the right verdict. A verdict against a church. What kind of church? the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church. Led by Rev. Fred Phelps, this church pickets at funerals of fallen soldiers. Why? Because the US including the military tolerates gays.
A court in Baltimore ordered this church to pay 2.9 million dollars in compensation and 8 million dollars in punitive damages for "mental pain and suffering" to Matthew's father, Albert Snyder. He sued the church after they picketed at his 20-year-old son's funeral.
This Baptist church believes that the deaths of soldiers is a punishment from God for tolerating gays including in the military. The church claims to have picketed more than 30,000 times. However, this Baltimore case was the first time that a funeral protest went to trial.
The BBC reported that Albert Snyder sobbed when he heard the verdict. He said,
"I hope it's enough to deter them from doing this to other families. It was not about the money. It was about getting them to stop."
Fred Phelps also threatened to protest at the funerals of victims of the Minnesota I35 bridge collapse. The BBC did an expose on Fred Phelps' family and what motivates them.
Hat Tip to Cindy Patterson.