Judge Places Lien, Bond Order on Westboro Baptist Church


A judge in Baltimore placed a lien on the properties owned by Fred Phelps’ Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, KAnsas and ordered his daughters to post bonds of $100,000 and $125,000 within 30 days while the church appeals a ruling in which it was ordered to pay a $5 million judgment (halved from a prior judgment of $10.9 million) to the father of a soldier slain in Iraq. Albert Snyder took the church to court after it picketed the funeral of his son. The church has been picketing the funerals of many soldiers, saying that their deaths are the result of God’s anger at America’s tolerance for homosexuals.

According to the Baltimore Sun, “On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett placed a lien on the properties of the church and its founder, Fred W. Phelps Sr., and ordered two of Phelps’ daughters to post cash bonds of $125,000 and $100,000 within 30 days. The church property was appraised recently at $442,800. Bennett also placed a lien on a $232,900 office building owned by Phelps and his wife that the family law firm uses. The liens mean that no new mortgages can be taken out on the properties, and no money can be borrowed against the equity in them. Bennett noted that it would require ‘extraordinary circumstances’ for the church to avoid posting a portion of the judgment.”

On March 30, approximately 300 people gathered near the church’s property in Topeka in a ‘Million Fag March’ to picket Phelps and his church’s intolerance.


  1. Sean Green says

    I don’t care about the Westboro Baptist Church.

    As long as they keep peacefully protesting in their own unique and incredibly stupid way they are more of a help to the gay rights movement than a lot of pro-gay political groups.

    I mean, come on, “God Hates Fags” what more proof do you need that gay rights are under attack from the christian right?

    Yes, they are offending people, but at least they aren’t hurting anybody but themselves.

    Being offended is the price you pay for freedom of speech.

    Sean xx

  2. Craig says

    Actually give Westboro Baptist more publicity. I wish their activities would be on the front page of every newspaper in the country every time they protested. Does anyone seriously think that this hurts us? It helps. It helps for Americans to see pure unadulterated hate of gays for what it is. Its more likely then not to repulse people on the fence of gay rights and swing them to our side. Moreover, as repugnant as Phelps and his clan are, they have a First Amendment right to protest. It is no different than the situation of burning an American flag. Our Constitution protects even those who have contempt for the freedom of others.

  3. Kevin says

    Firstly, what is the “pure unadulterated hate for gays” and why?? It is obviously based on ignorance and of a “book” which has been rewritten numerous times over the centuries and has had actual text left out of it not to mention the fact that it is the most misinterpreted book to date. Really Craig… Let go of the hate of gays, as it really makes you sound sad and pathetic. Aren’t there more important things to worry about in this world?? If you need a hug, I am available to give you one as it sure as hell sounds like you need it.
    Second, WBC oversteps its boundaries of that 1st Amendment Right when they disrupt a funeral of a soldier who has lost his life fighting for THEIR freedom.I don’t care who’s funeral, some things are sacred and holy and should remain that way regardless of what book you make currently have shoved up your ass…

  4. David says

    I hate the WBC, but some people are offended by gay parades. Do they cross the line for some? Yes. That doesn’t mean we throw the Constitution away and all our 1st Amendment Rights. What we use to shut other people up, they can use against us.

    Some things are sacred and holy? That’s what the repugs use to tell gays that they can’t marry. I’m an agnostic, so no, I don’t think some things are sacred and holy.

    I agree with Sean, above. We need to tred very carefully before we start outlawing one’s right to peaceful protest.

  5. Craig says

    Um, Kevin, I don’t hate gays, I am gay. I’m saying people are less likely to believe in Phelps’ interpretation of the Bible when they see him and his vile protest activities. And the Phelps clan didn’t disrupt the funeral itself. They were protesting on the road outside the cemetery as they aren’t allowed to protest on military cemetery grounds (a reasonable regulation that meets 1st Amendment scrutiny). An analogous situation would be Bush being able to sue people protesting outside a building where he is indoors giving a speech. The law used to sue them was passed because people found any protest of a soldier’s funeral repulsive. While it may be repulsive, that doesn’t it can be made illegal or grounds for a civil suit. As Davis points out, some find gay pride parades repulsive. Does that mean they can be banned? Or how about an open air Christian Mass? After all, we can find things objectionable about that given that those deviant Christians celebrate cannibalism of the flesh and blood of the human form of their deity who impregnated an underage girl against her will while she was engaged to another man. If anything can be banned because some people might object, the First Amendment has no meaning. The First Amendment protects Fred Phelps too, as gross as the thought may be. If the Nazis can march in Skokie, Phelps certainly should be able to protest near soldiers’ funeral within reason; otherwise we desecrate the very freedom our armed forces exist to protect.

  6. Kevin says

    Apologies as I misinterpreted what you were saying previously and point very well (and humbly) taken. I was somewhat caught up in the heat of the moment after a discussion here at work about this topic (I know…no place for talk like this) and would love nothing more than to feed Phelps and his people to the lions. I just think there is enough crap on TV and in the news that we do not need to give these people anymore time or recognition. The hug offer still stands but offered in friendship..

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