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Westboro Baptist founder's daughter sues St. Joseph

Friday, January 9, 2009 | 1:19 p.m. CST

KANSAS CITY — The daughter of the founder of the 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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