Monday, May 29, 2006

Bush Will Use Memorial Day To Sign "Fallen Heroes" Act

President Bush is expected to use today, Memorial Day, to sign the Respect for America's Fallen Heroes Act (HR 5037), recently passed by Congress. (CNS News.) The bill bars demonstrators from disrupting military funerals at national cemeteries by banning protests within 150 feet of a road into a cemetery, and within 300 feet of a cemetery entrance if the protest impedes access or egress. The ban covers the hour before and after a funeral. (ABC News report.) The law is directed at activities of Fred Phelps, the head of the Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas, whose group has disrupted a number of military funerals with signs and marches proclaiming that military deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan are God's punishment for U.S. toleration of homosexual life styles. Several states have enacted similar bills. (See prior postings 1, 2.)

UPDATE: Here is the White House release on the President's signing of the bill.