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Funeral for Utah Soldier Planned for Saturday, Church Plans Protest

Funeral for Utah Soldier Planned for Saturday, Church Plans Protest

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(KSL News) -- A Utah soldier will be laid to rest tomorrow.

Sergeant Jesse Blamires and four other U.S. servicemen were killed when Taliban militants shot down their helicopter in Afghanistan.

His body returned home to Utah Friday evening. Blamires is survived by his wife and two young daughters.

Meanwhile, the Deseret Morning News reports South Jordan police are preparing to deal with demonstrators who say they will protest at Blamires' funeral.

Members of the Westboro Baptist Church demonstrate at soldiers' funerals across the nation. A spokesman says church members will picket the funeral with signs displaying their group's anti-homosexual message.

The church believes soldiers' deaths are God's way of punishing a nation that tolerates homosexuality.

But if they show up, they will violate a new state law that makes it a crime to protest within 200 feet of funerals or memorial services.

The Deseret Morning News reports the group has threatened to demonstrate at a handful of military funerals in Utah in the past year but has yet to attend one.

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