Archive for Thursday, May 25, 2006

Senate passes measure on funeral picketing

May 25, 2006


— Demonstrators who have been attending recent military funerals heckling mourners would be kept from disrupting the ceremonies under a bill that the Senate approved on Wednesday.

A nearly identical measure passed the House two weeks ago. The details are expected to be worked out and the legislation sent to the president. The bill specifically targets the Kansas church group led by the Rev. Fred Phelps 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 Respect for America's Fallen Heroes Act, which was approved in the Senate without objection, bars protests within 300 feet of the entrance of a cemetery and within 150 feet of a road into the cemetery. The restrictions last 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.


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