Trial date set in lawsuit against Westboro Baptist Church

A trial date has been set in the federal lawsuit against the Westboro Baptist Church, whose members picketed the funeral of a Spring Garden Township man’s son, a Marine who died in combat in Iraq.

U.S. District Judge Richard Bennett set a two-week jury trial to start Oct. 22 in the U.S. District Court in Maryland.

Albert Snyder’s attorneys filed a civil lawsuit court last year, claiming the church group committed defamation and caused emotional distress to Snyder as he attended the funeral of his son, U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, in Westminster, Md.

Westboro Baptist Church
The Westboro Baptist Church is a hate group masquerading as a Christian church. Led by Fred Phelps, members of this church target homosexuals with messages of hate.

The group’s extremist views and despicable behavior mark it as a cult of Christianity

Matthew Snyder was killed in Iraq on March 3 at the age of 20.

The Topeka, Kan., church group maintains God is striking down soldiers for defending a nation tolerating homosexuality. The group pickets military funerals across the nation.

Sean Summers, an attorney for Snyder, said this morning there’s almost no chance the case will be settled out of court.

“I’d say in cases like this, there’s about a 90 to 95 percent chance it will settle before going to trial,” he said. “But in this particular case, I’d say there’s a 99.9 percent chance this won’t.”

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This post was last updated: Thursday, March 1, 2007 at 9:27 AM, Central European Time (CET)