State Rep. Jeff Wood, D-Sherwood is proposing a bill which would make it a misdemeanor for a person to picket a funeral in order to disrupt, inconvenience or annoy attendees. The bill would also allow a person to file a civil court action against the protestors. Similar bills have passed in other states.
The proposed bill has come about because of the activities of the Westboro Baptist Church and Rev. Fred Phelps Sr, the church's founder. Members of Phelps' church stand outside funeral services holding signs that say, "God Hates Fags," and "God Hates the USA." They also sing songs with anti-homosexual messages.
While what the church is doing is absolutely disgusting, cruel, and offensive, they have the right to Freedom of Speech. I really doubt that this bill would pass a constitutional review. There are other options to dealing with these people. These Guys!
Patriot Guard Riders are outstanding people making sure that the families at funerals are not bothered by the church members. Part of their mission is to:
Our main mission is to attend the funeral services of fallen American heroes as invited guests of the family. Each mission we undertake has two basic objectives.
1. Show our sincere respect for our fallen heroes, their families, and their communities.
2. Shield the mourning family and friends from interruptions created by any protestor or group of protestors.Mission
Yeah, we have scumbags disrespectful our fallen heroes, but we have wonderful people like the Patriot Guard Riders making sure that they have their funerals with honor and peace.
Probably the best part of the Patriot Guard Riders web site is their letter page. Check it out!