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Father of dead Marine files papers in case over funeral protests

The father of a Marine killed in Iraq says anti-gay protesters who showed up with inflammatory signs at his son’s funeral in Maryland should not have their actions protected by the Constitution’s freedom of speech guarantee.

Attorneys for Pennsylvania resident Albert Snyder submitted a 67-page brief in their case Monday. Their case now before the U.S. Supreme Court challenges the protests of the fundamentalist Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas. Westboro pastor Fred Phelps and other members have used the funeral protests to spread their belief that U.S. deaths in the Iraq war are punishment for the nation’s tolerance of homosexuality.

The Supreme Court agreed in March to take the case. The justices will hear the case during the court’s next term, which begins in October.