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Senators Introduce Bill to Quiet Funeral Protests

Senators Introduce Bill to Quiet Funeral Protests


A new bill introduced by a bipartisan group of U.S. senators seeks to limit protests outside the funerals of military members, a practice associated with the antigay Westboro Baptist Church.

The Topeka, Kan.-based church is known for sending members to protest the funerals of service members killed in action, where WBC claims the deaths represent divine punishment for the country's tolerance of homosexuality. The Supreme Court recently ruled that the controversial protests are protected by the First Amendment.

According to The Huffington Post, "Drawn up by Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), the Sanctity of Eternal Rest for Veterans Act -- or SERVE Act -- would mandate two hours of quiet time before and after funerals, and set a 300-foot buffer zone around the funerals and a 500-foot buffer around routes to and from the memorials.

"It sets fines ranging from $25,000 to $50,000, and jail sentences of up to two years."

Snowe, joined by a dozen senators in the effort, said, "Those who fight and die in the service of our country deserve our highest respect. Their families have earned the right to bury their loved ones in peace."

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