The Supreme Court has upheld a ruling by a Wyoming court that the Westboro Baptist Church may not install a “monument” to Matthew Shepard in a city park.
The Casper City Council did not violate the First Amendment when it allowed a Ten Commandments statue in Monument Plaza but did not permit a statue from an anti-homosexual pastor, according to a Wednesday U.S. Supreme Court ruling. The court decided unanimously that a statue in a government park is a form of government speech, and is therefore not under the constraints of the First Amendment. But, the decision continued, there are parameters. “It’s saying that a government that selectively picks monuments is government speech, but that right is not unlimited,” said Casper City Attorney Bill Luben. “The government can’t establish religion; they can’t place monuments in and of themselves with the intent that they want people to follow that religion.” Phelp’s monument stated: “Matthew Shepard Entered Hell October 12, 1998, in Defiance of God’s Warning ‘thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; it is abomination.’ Leviticus 18:22.
The Phelps have argued that they have a First Amendment right to install the marker.
(Via – Pam’s House Blend)