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Senators back lawsuit against funeral protesters

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- Sen. Kent Conrad says he and 44 of his colleagues are backing a lawsuit against protesters at the funeral of a Marine who was killed in Iraq.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- Sen. Kent Conrad says he and 44 of his colleagues are backing a lawsuit against protesters at the funeral of a Marine who was killed in Iraq.

The North Dakota Democrat says it is inappropriate to have military funerals disrupted by what he calls "shouting, screaming extremists."

The lawsuit was filed by the father of Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder against the pastor and followers of the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church. They protested at Snyder's 2006 funeral in Maryland and said his death was God's punishment for American tolerance of homosexuality.

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to consider whether the protesters' message is protected by the First Amendment.

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