The controversial Westboro Baptist Church of Kansas said in a press release Tuesday that it will picket at the funeral today of recently fallen Marine Cpl. Adam Galvez.

The fundamentalist church, based in Topeka, was sued recently in Maryland for interrupting the private funeral for a soldier there.

A handful of church members have been known to turn up at military funerals, holding up signs that attribute military deaths in Iraq to God's punishment on America for its tolerance of homosexuals.

In its news release, the church says, "Thank God for IEDs (improvised explosive devices)," and says that Adam Galvez "died in shame." The church further says that God has become America's terrorist and has "irreversibly" cursed America.

Adam Galvez was killed Aug. 20 in Iraq when a roadside bomb exploded under a vehicle in which he was riding, killing him and two others.

Tony Galvez told the Deseret Morning News Monday that he has received some "hate" mail, saying the senders' messages display "ignorance" and that they are "hurtful" to the family and to all U.S. troops.

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Marine Capt. Christian Portiss, who first notified Tony and Amy Galvez of their son's death, said Tuesday that "things" are in place to make sure the Galvez family is shielded from any protesters. At the risk of tipping off picketers, he would not elaborate on what kind of protection the family will receive.

The potential for any physical confrontation as a result of picketers will be handled by local law enforcement. "We don't have any jurisdiction here," Portiss added.

Funeral services for Galvez will take place at 2 p.m. today at the Calvary Chapel of Salt Lake, 460 W. CenteryDrive (4350 South). A burial service at Camp Williams will follow.


E-mail: sspeckman@desnews.com