The father who fought the God Hates Fags church all the way to the US supreme court after his son’s funeral was picketed has said that someone will get shot if the church resumes its action.
Earlier this week, by a majority of eight to one, the supreme court ruled that the church has the right to picket the funerals of US soldiers killed abroad by relying on their First Amendment rights to free speech. The group target dead soldiers because they claim that army casualties are a punishment from God for homosexuality being legal in the United States.
“Something is going to happen,” Albert Snyder, father of Matthew Snyder, a Marine lance corporal killed in Iraq whose funeral was picketed told CNN yesterday. “Somebody is going to get hurt.”
He added:”You have too many soldiers and Marines coming back with post-traumatic stress syndrome, and they [the God Hates Fags protesters are going to go to the wrong funeral and the guns are going to go off.”
“And when it does, I just hope it doesn’t hit the mother that’s burying her child or the little girl that’s burying her father or mother. It’s inevitable.” He added that the judgement lacked “common sense”.
The church believes that God is punishing America for tolerating homosexuality by killing soldiers in conflict abroad.
Matthew Snyder’s father was originally awarded compensation of $11m following the church’s picket. This was reduced to $5m, before the award was annulled altogether because of the church’s constitutional right to voice its conviction.
The tactics employed by the organisation were described by their detractors as “psychological terrorism”.
While numerous organisations have condemned the church’s messages, many have been forced to recommend that their rights are upheld for fear of creating a precedent at odds with the concepts of freedom of expression.