CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Members of the Westboro Baptist Church said they are planning to protesting the funerals of three North Carolina soldiers killed in Afghanistan.

The group connects the deaths of soldiers to America's acceptance of gays.

Members said they will picket in the hometowns of 18 troops, including Sgt. Thomas Butler IV of Leland, Sgt. Jeremy Hardison of Maysville and Sgt. Donna Johnson of Raeford.

Funeral arrangements for the soldiers haven't been made.

A Facebook group was started in response to plans to protest Sgt. Thomas Butler's funeral.

The effort is called A Human Wall for Fallen Soldier and organizers said it's their goal to assemble enough people to shield the family from protesters.

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