A jury on Wednesday ordered an anti-gay Kansas church to pay $10.9 million in damages to relatives of a U.S. Marine after church members cheered his death at his funeral.
The federal jury determined the Westboro Baptist Church, based in Topeka, and three of its principals invaded the privacy of the dead man's family and inflicted emotional distress when they protested at his funeral last year.
The jury awarded Snyder's family $2.9 million in compensatory damages and an additional $8 million in punitive damages.
The Westboro Church was sued by the Marine's father, Albert Snyder of York, Pennsylvania. The case was the first civil suit against the church, which has demonstrated at some 300 military funerals in the past two years.
The church, which is unaffiliated with any major denomination, is headed by Rev. Fred Phelps, who has been waging a one-man war against homosexuality for years. Most members of the church belong to his extended family.
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