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Bush signs
bill targeting Phelps's picketing at military
funerals

Bush signs
bill targeting Phelps's picketing at military
funerals

Fred_phelps_0

Though many believe the law will be struck down, President Bush on Monday signed a measure that bans protests at the military funerals of fallen soldiers in an effort to prevent radical homophobe Fred Phelps from further upsetting families of service members.

Though many believe the law will be struck down, President Bush on Monday signed a measure that bans protests at the military funerals of fallen soldiers in an effort to prevent radical homophobe Fred Phelps from further upsetting families of service members.

The Respect for America's Fallen Heroes Act will for the time being prevent Phelps and his Topeka, Kan.-based Westboro Baptist Church from waving hateful signs and screaming obscenities during military funerals. Phelps and his church, made up mostly of his family members, believe God is allowing soldiers to die because of America's permissive attitudes toward gays and lesbians.

The act, which previously sailed through both houses of Congress, bans protests within 300 feet of the entrance of a national cemetery and within 150 feet of a road into the cemetery. Violators would face up to a $100,000 fine and up to a year in prison.

Phelps has vowed to challenge the ban in court, and some constitutional scholars say he is likely to succeed.

Nontheless, Bush's move, taking place during the Memorial Day holiday, was heralded by military and gay leaders.

"This law gives the families of America's fallen heroes the dignity and respect they deserve," said Log Cabin Republicans president Patrick Guerriero. (The Advocate)

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