It’s going to take more than a $10.9 million jury award to stop pastor Fred Phelps and his Kansas church from picketing military funerals with antigay signs. In fact, his daughter said November 1 that the verdict will only push them forward.
“We are the No. 1 story on Google around the world,” said Shirley Phelps-Roper, daughter of Westboro Baptist Church’s pastor. “You can’t buy that kind of advertising, even with $10.9 million.”
The Topeka congregation was sued by Albert Snyder, whose son was killed in Iraq, after members picketed at his son’s funeral in March 2006. On October 31, a federal jury awarded Snyder $10.9 million in damages.
Members of Phelps’s church, who believe that God is punishing the United States for its acceptance of homosexuality with the deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, routinely picket military funerals. They hold signs with slogans like “Thank God for dead soldiers” and “God hates fags.”