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  1. #1
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    Congress Bars Military Funeral Protesters

    Congress Bars Military Funeral Protesters
    By JIM ABRAMS


    WASHINGTON (AP) - 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.

    The bill is H.R. 5037

  2. #2
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    Re: Congress Bars Military Funeral Protesters

    Quote Originally Posted by Connecticut Victim
    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.
    There are some truly SICK fvcks in this country... :rolleyes:


    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.
    Along with some TRULY HONORABLE individuals... Bikers often get a bad rap in this country, but they are always there when someone needs them... :cool:
    Last edited by Connecticut Victim; 05-25-2006 at 08:01 PM.

  3. #3
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    Re: Congress Bars Military Funeral Protesters

    Quote Originally Posted by Connecticut Victim
    Along with some TRULY HONORABLE individuals... Bikers often get a bad rap in this country, but they are always there when someone needs them... :cool:
    I have to agree CV. There are a couple of biker gangs that, if I found them in the desert dying of thirst, I wouldn't stop to piss in their mouths. But for the most part bikers are a great bunch of people who would do anything, and I do mean "anything", for a friend.

    I just can't believe someone would think god is punishing America for having compassion and caring about other people, even if they are homosexual. What kind of god do they believe in???
    Last edited by UserName; 05-25-2006 at 10:59 PM.

  4. #4
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    Re: Congress Bars Military Funeral Protesters

    I'm all for it.

    It is just uncalled for for anyone to pull that kind of crap for any reason.

    .

  5. #5
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    Re: Congress Bars Military Funeral Protesters

    This is interesting. What about their first amendment rights? Don't they apply in this case? If not, why not? I'm just curious if the ACLU will take up their cause.
    A giant mushroom cloud, 24 empty missile tubes... It's Miller Time!

  6. #6
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    Re: Congress Bars Military Funeral Protesters

    Quote Originally Posted by USNavySubSailor
    This is interesting. What about their first amendment rights? Don't they apply in this case? If not, why not? I'm just curious if the ACLU will take up their cause.
    Hey there USN...

    They probably will. What just floors me is that people are more that willing to scream about their freedom of speech being violated while they're violating anothers privacy. Freedom of Speech DOES NOT give one the right to say what they want, when they want and to whom they want... whenever they want. With Freedom of Speech comes the responsibility to employ it at the appropriate time, place and circumstance. While a family is burying a loved one ain't it.

  7. #7
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    Re: Congress Bars Military Funeral Protesters

    What bothers me the most about these protesters if that they're probably the same people who will scream "UnAmerican commie!!!!!" at anybody who disagrees with what the government does. I put them in the same mold at Pat Robertson, who probably supports them, although I don't know if he does or not.

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