On Monday, Sept. 17, Gov. Jerry Brown signed 26 news bills that dealt with issues such as providing some form of legal amnesty to those seeking help for drug addictions to setting barriers for protesters near soldier funerals.
Specifically, the new law focusing on the barriers that were set for protesters is a hot point of contention for some. For those not aware, setting limitations on picketing soldiers’ funerals was a result of the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church protests.
The Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) has held peaceful demonstrations since 1991 showing its hatred for homosexuals. Recently, the church has been receiving greater publicity and has ramped up the offensiveness of their message.
The WBC began picketing military funerals saying every death of a soldier was a punishment for America’s “tolerance of homosexuality.” Members of the church protest specifically at military funerals and carry signs with slogans that state: “God hates fags” or “Pray for more dead soldiers.”
The bill includes regulations such as requiring protesters to be at minimum 300 feet away from the burial site. If an individual violates this regulation, he or she can face a $1,000 minimum fine or up to six months in prison. Senator Ted Lieu wrote the bill to try to stop such disgusting hatred by protesters.
The bill has stirred up controversy; is this a limitation on free speech or a needed measure to protect those in mourning? Nowadays people seem to be abusing their freedom of speech. There is a fine line in stating your opinion and completely abusing others to get your point across. The WBC members took protesting to an entire different level; their protests disgust me.
It seems as if they have no respect for the dead.
The Bible itself says not to judge, but yet these protesters are judging homosexuals. Luke 6:37 says, “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven.”
The bill Brown signed is only a measure to protect those in mourning and those soldiers who died for this country. They sacrificed their own lives to save ours, so we can live in a better place.
If anything, everyone should be praying for their safety, not their death. Who cares if someone is lesbian, gay, or bisexual, we’re all human. Give the soldiers the respect they deserve.
Everyone has the right to protest, but there are appropriate times and places to do such things, and a military funeral is not the right location. Families are hurt and mourning their loved ones, how terrible must they feel to walk out of a funeral home and see countless protesters hold signs wishing for more dead soldiers. Personally, I’d be extremely mad if protesters were yelling bigoted epithets at my family member’s funeral.
Point being, I’m glad Brown passed a bill setting regulations to where one can protest. It’s not limiting an individual’s freedom of speech because they can still protest all they want, they just have to be a minimum of 300 feet away, or else they’ll get a fine of $1,000.
It is simply protecting those in mourning and respecting the soldiers who gave their life for this country.
Treat others the way you like to be treated. I’m sure those individuals protesting would not want someone to be protesting at their funerals. We have to keep the love and respect in this country, as it’s something we’ve been found lacking.