Federal Funeral Dignity Law now PL 109-464
Date: December 28, 2006
Topic: Legislative Victories
Danny "Greasy" Belcher, Executive Director
Task Force Omega of KY Inc.
Vietnam Infantry Sgt. 68-69
"D" Troop 7th Sqdn. 1st Air Cav
This law is not about "Crazy Fred" and his gay bunch of fools. It is about showing respect at funerals. Waving American and POW/MIA flags like the Partiot Guard, TFO and others do when requested by the deceased's family is not a demonstration but a show of love and respect.
----- Original Message -----
From: Scott Moore
Cc: Danny Belcher
Sent: Wednesday, December 27, 2006 6:57 PM
Subject: Bush Signs Law to Bar Military Funeral Protests
Bush Signs Law to Bar Military Funeral Protests
By Nathan Burchfiel
CNSNews.com Staff Writer
December 27, 2006
(CNSNews.com) - President Bush has signed into a law an amendment to U.S. law protecting military funerals from protests like those staged by a controversial Kansas church that characterizes soldiers' deaths as divine punishment for homosexuality.
The new amendment prohibits protestors from demonstrating within 150 feet of a funeral and within an hour of the memorial service. It provides a year in jail and/or an undetermined fine for violators.
The rule applies to funerals at non-federal cemeteries, joining legislation passed in May 2006 that bans demonstrations at national cemeteries such as Arlington National Cemetery outside Washington, D.C.
The prohibition will primarily affect the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC), a small congregation from Topeka, Kan., that pickets at military funerals because it says homosexuals are taking over the U.S. armed forces and the nation.
The church, led by Rev. Fred Phelps, says it believes God allows soldiers to die as punishment against America for allowing homosexuality to exist. It protests at military funerals across the country with signs featuring slogans like "God Hates Fags" and "Thank God for Dead Soldiers."
On its website, the church celebrates the U.S. death toll in Iraq and says it prays for the number to increase 1,000-fold.
Church spokesmen did not respond to email requests for comment Tuesday, and telephone calls placed to the church's headquarters were not answered.
In a statement on its website, WBC promises to continue protesting in spite of laws prohibiting the demonstrations.
"We will not go away," it states, arguing that the church members are victims of persecution. "It's only going to get worse. The more you persecute God's people, the more wrath He pours out on you!"
The Law PL 109-464 is below.
To amend title 18, United States Code, to prohibit disruptions of funerals of members or former members of the Armed Forces. (Enrolled as Agreed to or Passed by Both House and Senate)
One Hundred Ninth Congress
United States of America
AT THE SECOND SESSION
Begun and held at the City of Washington on Tuesday,
the third day of January, two thousand and six
To amend title 18, United States Code, to prohibit disruptions of funerals of members or former members of the Armed Forces.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. RESPECT FOR THE FUNERALS OF FALLEN HEROES.
(a) In General- Chapter 67 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:
`Sec. 1388. Prohibition on disruptions of funerals of members or former members of the Armed Forces
`(a) Prohibition- For any funeral of a member or former member of the Armed Forces that is not located at a cemetery under the control of the National Cemetery Administration or part of Arlington National Cemetery, it shall be unlawful for any person to engage in an activity during the period beginning 60 minutes before and ending 60 minutes after such funeral , any part of which activity--
`(1)(A) takes place within the boundaries of the location of such funeral or takes place within 150 feet of the point of the intersection between--
`(i) the boundary of the location of such funeral ; and
`(ii) a road, pathway, or other route of ingress to or egress from the location of such funeral ; and
`(B) includes any individual willfully making or assisting in the making of any noise or diversion that is not part of such funeral and that disturbs or tends to disturb the peace or good order of such funeral with the intent of disturbing the peace or good order of that funeral ; or
`(2)(A) is within 300 feet of the boundary of the location of such funeral ; and
`(B) includes any individual willfully and without proper authorization impeding the access to or egress from such location with the intent to impede the access to or egress from such location.
`(b) Penalty- Any person who violates subsection (a) shall be fined under this title, imprisoned for not more than 1 year, or both.
`(c) Definitions- In this section:
`(1) The term `Armed Forces' has the meaning given the term in section 101 of title 10.
`(2) The term `funeral of a member or former member of the Armed Forces' means any ceremony or memorial service held in connection with the burial or cremation of a member or former member of the Armed Forces.
`(3) The term `boundary of the location', with respect to a funeral of a member or former member of the Armed Forces, means--
`(A) in the case of a funeral of a member or former member of the Armed Forces that is held at a cemetery, the property line of the cemetery;
`(B) in the case of a funeral of a member or former member of the Armed Forces that is held at a mortuary, the property line of the mortuary;
`(C) in the case of a funeral of a member or former member of the Armed Forces that is held at a house of worship, the property line of the house of worship; and
`(D) in the case of a funeral of a member or former member of the Armed Forces that is held at any other kind of location, the reasonable property line of that location.'.
(b) Clerical Amendment- The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 67 of such title is amended by inserting after the item related to section 1387 the following new item:
`1388. Prohibition on disruptions of funerals of members or former members of the Armed Forces.'.
Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Vice President of the United States and
President of the Senate.