Brown Signs Supreme Court Brief to Stop an Anti-Gay Hate Group from Disrupting Military Funerals

Office of the Attorney General

Saying that "disrupting a private funeral with vicious personal attacks goes too far," California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. has signed a friend-of-the-court brief filed today in a Supreme Court case that will test whether families grieving at a funeral have a right to be free of hate-filled attacks from fanatical protesters.

Brown is one of 48 state attorneys general who gave their support to Albert Snyder in his lawsuit against Fred W. Phelps, Sr. and the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas.

Near the 2006 Maryland funeral of Snyder's son, Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, the vehemently anti-gay Phelps and his parishioners demonstrated and waved signs that said "Thank God for Dead Soldiers" and some that employed even more offensive language. Matthew Snyder, 20, was killed in a Humvee accident a month after he arrived in Iraq.

"Free speech is a cherished American right," Brown said, "but disrupting a private funeral with vicious personal attacks on the grieving family goes too far."

Read the entire news release here.

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