Anger rises over bill to father of slain Marine

From: The Baltimore SUN
By Robbie Whelan
Baltimore Sun reporter

Outraged that the father of a dead Marine was ordered to pay some court costs incurred by a group he had sued for picketing his son’s funeral, people from across the country have launched a grass-roots fundraising effort to help the grieving family.

“I was appalled,” said Sally Giannini, a 72-year-old retired bookkeeper from Spokane, Wash., who had called The Baltimore Sun after seeing an article about the court decision against Albert Snyder. “I believe in free speech, but this goes too far.”

Living on a fixed income, Giannini said she could send only $10 toward the $16,510.80 that the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered Snyder to pay to Fred Phelps, leader of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., an anti-gay group that travels the country picketing military funerals. The group says military deaths are God’s punishment for America’s tolerance of homosexuality.

Snyder sued Westboro because its members waved signs saying “God hates fags” and “God hates the USA” at the 2006 funeral in Westminster of his son, Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, who had been killed in Iraq. A federal jury in Baltimore awarded Snyder $11 million in damages in 2007, saying Phelps’ group intentionally inflicted emotional distress on the family. The award was later reduced to $5 million, and eventually overturned on appeal.

As news of the order to pay some of the court costs spread through the news media and online, strangers were moved to send money and set up funds to support Snyder’s court battle. Tuesday night, commentator Bill O’Reilly of Fox News Channel offered to pay the court costs owed by Snyder, according to WBAL Radio.

Mark C. Seavey, new-media director for the American Legion, also posted a message Tuesday on his Legion-affiliated blog, The Burn Pit, urging readers to donate to the Albert Snyder Fund. The American Legion’s message was picked up by conservative political blogger Michelle Malkin, who called the Westboro protesters “evil miscreants” and urged readers to donate.

The Rest of the Story @ Baltimore Sun

Update:
FOX NEWS Bill O’Reilly Will pickup the coast!?!?

Huffington Post | Nicholas Graham First Posted: 03-31-10 04:06 PM | Updated: 04- 1-10 10:29 AM

Fox News host Bill O’Reilly will pick up the legal tab of the father of a fallen U.S. Marine after a judge ruled that he must pay the court costs incurred by the members of the controversial Westboro Baptist Church, whom he sued for protesting his son’s funeral.

This particular church is infamous for protesting the funerals of U.S. servicemen with signs saying that God killed the soldiers because of homosexuality in America, among other things.

O’Reilly called the legal fees an “outrage”:

From: Huffington Post

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