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Maryland To Support Family In Marine Funeral Protest Case

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By Rebecca Blatt

Maryland is joining nearly 30 other states in support of the family of a Marine whose funeral was picketed by a controversial church group.

Members of the Westboro Baptist Church held signs that said "Thank God for dead soldiers" and "God hates you" outside the funeral of Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder in Carroll County, Maryland. The group believes American war deaths are punishment for the nation's tolerance of homosexuality.

Snyder's family sued the group for infliction of emotional distress and invasion of privacy. In the most recent ruling on the case, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals sided with the church, citing free speech rights.

Today, Maryland's Attorney General Doug Gansler announced Maryland will join 28 other states signing onto a brief in support of Snyder's family, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the appellate court decision. The case will be heard by the high court in October.

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