COURTS

Are Anti-Gay Funeral Protests Constitutional?

A Maryland father laid his soldier son to rest in 2006 surrounded by protesters from a Baptist church in Topeka, Kansas, who believe soldiers die in combat as punishment for the U.S.’s permissive attitude toward homosexuality. They have carried signs that say, “Thank God for dead soldiers.” The Supreme Court is now reviewing whether protesting the funerals of soldiers is protected by the First Amendment. A Baltimore jury awarded the soldier’s father $10 million in damages, but the case was later thrown out by the U.S. Court of Appeals. The judges said the signs were not referring directly to the father and his son. Snyder v. Phelps will be argued next October.