February 21, 2020         
Lovers, Sub a Sandwich for a Ring This Leap Day and Quiznos May Cater Your Wedding – Assuming They Say “Yes”!   •   Coronavirus: International Concern Growing Over Healthcare Workers' Wellbeing   •   CAIR-Philadelphia, Coalition Partners Protest U.S. Army War College Hosting Anti-Muslim Speaker   •   2nd STREET USA, Inc. to Open First East Coast Store on February 22, 2020, in Manhattan’s NoHo Neighborhood   •   Blake Shelton Joins the Lineup for the 2020 ‘iHeartCountry Festival Presented by Capital One’   •   Comcast Celebrates the Year of the Rat With Continued Sponsorship of San Francisco’s Chinese New Year Festival & Parad   •   Jamul Indian Village Tribal Leaders to Speak at TGPN's 2020 Women in Tribal Gaming Symposium   •   SmartBear and Drift Present Candid Panel Discussion to Spotlight Racial Challenges in Tech   •   RRD’s Customizable Kits Streamline the Path to a Better Brand Experience   •   Victims Of Chipotle's Alleged Child Labor Violations To Hold News Conference In New Jersey   •   New conservation agreements signed to protect Southern Mountain Caribou in British Columbia   •   The Gables at Monroe in Monroe Township is now in closeout   •   ADDING MULTIMEDIA Clean Beauty Meets K-Beauty: Feminine Care Brand Rael Expands Into Wellness Skincare Products   •   Milton Hershey School and Bloomsburg University Partner to Support Low-Income, First-Generation College Students   •   Fulton Mortgage Company Honored With First Annual Community Revitalization Award in Philadelphia   •   Millennial Workers Are On Pace to Have More Retirement Income   •   Vibrant Body Company Applauds Sycamore Partners Victoria's Secret Acquisition   •   New Statistics Released on Suicide Deaths in America   •   Tutors International Reports Record Requests for Private Tuition in Central and South America   •   Survival Guide for Allergy Season: Latest Tips According to Shirin Peters, M.D. With Bethany Medical Clinic
Bookmark and Share

Ohio AG Takes A Stand Against Funeral Protesters

 (COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray has announced that he has sponsored an amicus brief filed in the United States Supreme Court seeking to protect grieving families from harassment during funerals. Attorney General Cordray is one of 48 attorneys general who signed the brief.


In the case of Snyder v. Phelps, the family of Lance Cpl. Matthew A. Snyder filed a lawsuit in Maryland against protesters who picketed the fallen Marine's funeral. Fred Phelps, founder of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., and members of the Phelps family have picketed at military funerals across the country to publicize their belief that God hates homosexuality and punishes America for its tolerance by claiming the lives of service members in Afghanistan and Iraq. Signs carried by the Phelps family at these protests have included such messages as "God Hates You," "Thank God for Dead Soldiers," "Thank God for 9/11," and "God Hates the USA."

Although the Snyder family won a judgment and compensation at the trial court, an appeals court overturned the verdict. The Supreme Court is now considering whether protection of funerals through state statutes or tort law is permissible under the Constitution's First Amendment. 

"We stand behind our men and women in uniform and their loved ones. We honor those who serve and sacrifice, and when they are lost defending our freedom, their families absolutely deserve peace and privacy during their burials," said Cordray.  

In a prior Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals case, the Ohio Attorney General's office successfully defended a challenge by the Phelps family to an Ohio statute, Revised Code Section 3767.30, which prohibits picketing within three hundred feet of funerals within an hour before or after the burial service.

Ohio Governor Ted Strickland offered support for the filing of the amicus brief. "Attorney General Cordray's action supports Ohio values and demonstrates that we stand with the families and loved ones of our service men and women," said Strickland. "They have earned the right to honor the fallen in peace and security. Just as we honor the expression of free speech, we must also honor the sacredness of funerals and the sacrifices of our soldiers and their families.

As the amicus brief signed by Attorney General Cordray and the 47 other attorneys general states:
"It is this solemn right of privacy in one of the most sacred traditions of human civilization that the Phelpses have attacked, denigrated, and violated. The Snyder family had but one opportunity to honor and mourn their fallen son, one opportunity to pay their final respects, one opportunity to bury him with solemn dignity in a time-honored tradition that far predates the founding of our country and the adoption of our Constitution. The Snyder family should have been guaranteed their time of mourning in peace, with privacy, tranquility, and dignity. Traditions as old as humanity, much older than our Constitution, demand such privacy; the First Amendment does not abrogate all history and cultural norms to protect the Phelpses' unprecedented tactics."
To read the brief in full, visit www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/FuneralProtectionsBrief

                                                                                - 30 -

 

Ohio Attorney General | www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov | 30 E. Broad St. | Columbus | OH | 43215 

 

 



Back to top
| Back to home page
Video

White House Live Stream
LIVE VIDEO EVERY SATURDAY
alsharpton Rev. Al Sharpton
9 to 11 am EST
jjackson Rev. Jesse Jackson
10 to noon CST


Video

LIVE BROADCASTS
Sounds Make the News ®
WAOK-Urban
Atlanta - WAOK-Urban
KPFA-Progressive
Berkley / San Francisco - KPFA-Progressive
WVON-Urban
Chicago - WVON-Urban
KJLH - Urban
Los Angeles - KJLH - Urban
WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
New York - WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
WADO-Spanish
New York - WADO-Spanish
WBAI - Progressive
New York - WBAI - Progressive
WOL-Urban
Washington - WOL-Urban

Listen to United Natiosns News