Congress Bars Funeral Protesters




 
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Boots
 
May 26th, 2006  
Easy-8
 
 

Topic: Congress Bars Funeral Protesters


Congress Bars Funeral Protesters
Associated Press | May 25, 2006
WASHINGTON - Demonstrators would be barred from disrupting military funerals at national cemeteries under Legislation approved by Congress and sent to the White House Wednesday.
The measure, passed by voice vote in the House hours after the Senate passed an amended version, specifically targets a Kansas church group that has staged protests at military funerals around the country, claiming that the deaths were a sign of God's anger at U.S. tolerance of homosexuals.
The act "will protect the sanctity of all 122 of our national cemeteries as shrines to their gallant dead," Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., said prior to the Senate vote.
"It's a sad but necessary measure to protect what should be recognized by all reasonable people as a solemn, private and deeply sacred occasion," he said.
Under the Senate bill, approved without objection by the House with no recorded vote, the "Respect for America's Fallen Heroes Act" would bar protests within 300 feet of the entrance of a cemetery and within 150 feet of a road into the cemetery from 60 minutes before to 60 minutes after a funeral. Those violating the act would face up to a $100,000 fine and up to a year in prison.
The sponsor of the House bill, Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., said he took up the issue after attending a military funeral in his home state, where mourners were greeted by "chants and taunting and some of the most vile things I have ever heard."
"Families deserve the time to bury their American heroes with dignity and in peace," Rogers said Wednesday before the Hosue vote.
The demonstrators are led by the Rev. Fred Phelps of Topeka, Kan., who has previously organized protests against those who died of AIDS and gay murder victim Matthew Shepard.
In an interview when the House bill passed, Phelps said Congress was "blatantly violating the First Amendment" rights to free speech in passing the bill. He said that if the bill becomes law he will continue to demonstrate but would abide by the restrictions.
Sen. Pat Roberts, a Republican from Kansas, said the loved ones of those who die have already sacrificed for the nation and "we must allow them the right to mourn without being thrust into a political circus."
In response to the demonstrations, the Patriot Guard Riders, a motorcyle group including many veterans, has begun appearing at military funerals to pay respects to the fallen service member and protect the family from disruptions.
More than a dozen states are considering similar laws to restrict protests at nonfederal cemeteries. The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit against a new Kentucky law, saying it goes too far in limiting freedom of speech and expression.

http://www.military.com/NewsContent/...,98546,00.html
May 26th, 2006  
Ted
 
 
Finally a bill that needed to be made a long time ago. No matter how opposed you are to the war, give the dead their peace they deserve! Let the family say good-bye in stillness and play your political games else where. Why these protestors take it out on the GI and his family is an absolute sign of cowardice and short sightedness...

I'll use Luis' famous quote here:
Nuff said!
May 26th, 2006  
bulldogg
 
 
This is a bill to protect grieving citizens from being charged with murder after they encounter people who deserve to be beaten senseless.
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Boots
May 26th, 2006  
tomtom22
 
 
Next we need to pass a law in every state that does the same thing to prevent this stupid senseless crap at private cemeteries.
May 26th, 2006  
ASTRALdragon
 
 
I know it's been mentioned before, but it always strikes my funny bone when these morons are exercising the very right these soldiers and their past brethren were fighting to protect. Seriously, it boggles the mind...

Reverend out of Kansas eh? Didn't the Westboro Baptist Christians come out of Kansas also? Hmm me thinks there is something awry with the Christian ideology in Kansas... If Christianity had the same little group of fundamentalist, self-righteous radicalists committing terroristic acts "in God's name" as Islam does, I think these guys qualify for that title.
May 26th, 2006  
Rob Henderson
 
 
Very nice,Bulldogg..hehehe...Amen too. This bill shouldn't be neccessary at all though...We shouldn't have to be banning protestors from funerals...To protest at a funeral is just wrong. Like Luis said:Nuff said. Its just plain wrong. They deserve to go through what the people they are protesting against went through. See how they like it when you served and died for your country and then have people protesting against it....It sickens me.
May 26th, 2006  
Missileer
 
 
In a normal world, a bill like this wouldn't be needed but we're not dealing with normalcy here. That's when a rifle butt is needed to fill the void left when common sense is uncommon.
May 26th, 2006  
Rob Henderson
 
 
Yep. Exactly.
May 26th, 2006  
PJ24
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Missileer
In a normal world, a bill like this wouldn't be needed but we're not dealing with normalcy here. That's when a rifle butt is needed to fill the void left when common sense is uncommon.
Well, depends on how you define normal. If you define it based on history, we've always had, idiots, asshats and morons (oh my!), so it's pretty normal to have them today as well.

Glad the Congress Critters stepped up.
May 27th, 2006  
Easy-8
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bulldogg
This is a bill to protect grieving citizens from being charged with murder after they encounter people who deserve to be beaten senseless.
I am shocked that someone has not already killed some of these people.