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Church sues over funeral protest ban

Jan. 9, 2009 - 01:56PM   |   Last Updated: Jan. 9, 2009 - 01:56PM  |  
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. A Westboro Baptist Church member has sued the city of St. Joseph over its ordinance banning protests at soldiers' funerals.

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. A Westboro Baptist Church member has sued the city of St. Joseph over its ordinance banning protests at soldiers' funerals.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, asks a judge to declare the ordinance and its enforcement unconstitutional.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri filed the suit on behalf of Shirley Phelps-Roper. She's the daughter of Topeka, Kan.-based Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps.

The St. Joseph city attorney's office did not immediately return a call seeking comment Friday.

The church believes that U.S. troop deaths are punishment for the nation's tolerance of homosexuality.

Phelps-Roper is pursuing a similar suit against the state of Missouri. A three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in October that church members could picket soldiers' funerals in Missouri.

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