Veterans found it hard Wednesday to square the Supreme Courts ruling in Snyder v. Phelps with the constitutional right that they swore and for which many have given their lives to protect.
The courts ruling that the controversial Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., was exercising its right to free speech when it conducted anti-gay protests at military funerals left many feeling betrayed.
We fought for the right to freedom of speech, but we need to strike a balance between protecting free speech and protecting grieving families, said Paul Rieckhoff, executive director of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, a support group.
Military families and their advocates were disheartened.
It is a sad moment for families of Americas fallen military, said Ami Neiberger-Miller, a spokeswoman for TAPS, the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, an emotional-support group for military families.