... or at least took it in the ass figuratively on Friday when a federal court in Baltimore awarded $10.9 million to the father of a fallen soldier, whose funeral the Phelps family had picketed with anti-gay messages. The soldier wasn't gay, but the Phelps family believes that God is punishing the U.S. for its tolerance of gays and lesbians. Recently many states have passed laws against protests at funerals, specifically for this clan of lunatics. (Funny that no one paid attention for the past almost 20 years that they've picketed the funerals of dead gay men. Hmmmm).
If you don't know the Phelps clan from Kansas, these are the folks probably most (in)famous for protesting the funeral of Matthew Shepard. I became familiar with them back in the late 80's / early 90's when they first surfaced at the funerals of gay men who had died of AIDS complications.
Aside from all of this is the fact a jury reached a verdict here that didn't attempt to restrict hate speech. Rather the verdict was based on the argument that the Phelps clan invaded the privacy of the mourning family and intentionally inflicted pain on the family. This will be very interesting to follow as the appeals play out. I would also be curious to find out if the pain inflicted would have been perceived as less if the protests were only anti-war protests and not anti-gay protests. Lots going on in my head about this right now, but mostly just glad Fred Phelps and his clan are feeling a little discomfort about now.