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AZ passes law keeping protesters away from funerals

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posted on Jan, 11 2011 @ 04:14 PM
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AZ passed the law keeping WBC 300 feet away from funeral services:



TUCSON, AZ – The Arizona state legislature is working to pass legislation today that will prohibit protests at funerals from coming with 300 feet of the services. This is in direct response to an announcement by the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka Kansas warning its members will picket the little girl’s funeral.

Westboro Baptist Church has gained attention by protesting at the funerals of AIDS, gay people and United States soldiers.

Residents of Tucson have said they will stage an “angel action” with participants wearing 8 foot angel wings to shield mourners from the picketers. Angel anctions were conceived by Romaine Paterson of Colorado who was shocked to find Westboro Baptist Church outside the 1999 funeral of Matthew Shepard. Shepard was a gay man beaten to death in Laramie, Wyoming and left hanging from a fence to die.


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posted on Jan, 11 2011 @ 04:18 PM
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reply to post by mishigas
 


You stated that they passed the law. The article clearly says they are
working on passing it? Which is it? Why are these stories always so
misleading with two different themes?



posted on Jan, 11 2011 @ 04:20 PM
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reply to post by mishigas
 


I don't know how I feel about this. I really love seeing Phelps pushed back even further, but what does this say about free speech zones and protest areas, that we have hated all along?

Phelps calls Loughner an Afghanistan vet.
He's an idiot.



posted on Jan, 11 2011 @ 04:25 PM
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It either has passed, or will pass in a NYC minute...its just a formality whatever phase it is in now and will be out before the funerals.

As far as the free speech issue is concerned...you know...I think people have generally had enough overall. It could be a slippery slope of course, however, I simply cannot see any reason why a funeral should be protested anyhow...hell, even if the funeral was for hitler.

Some moments should rise above the norm...a funeral in my opinion is the one moment in a entire life a person should have a right of peaceful passage. Offhand I cannot think of any instance that would make me think otherwise...have a protest the day before, or the day after...but the day itself should be considered special within a certain margain of the services



posted on Jan, 11 2011 @ 04:25 PM
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While free speech is a concern here, I can also see how this form of free speech can start an altercation.

Do we wait for the giant fight between protesters and funeral goers or do we nip it in the bud before the violence starts?

One of these days there will be a fight between the two, I have no doubt in my mind about it.



posted on Jan, 11 2011 @ 04:35 PM
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Originally posted by endtimer
reply to post by mishigas
 


You stated that they passed the law. The article clearly says they are
working on passing it? Which is it? Why are these stories always so
misleading with two different themes?


I should have clarified...I'm watching the news; the bill has passed. The article is stale.

Mea culpa.



posted on Jan, 11 2011 @ 04:35 PM
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reply to post by Becoming
 


With the vileness of this particular group........the gaping wound that is still seething with pain from this attempted massacre , assasination and killing of a 9 yr old girl......

Youre looking at a powder keg........

The people of Arizona have been pushed really hard this year with everything going on.....

This church goes down there and protests this little girls funeral, and it will a miracle that they dont get taken out.

There comes a point when you push too far.....this is too much too fast........

Im all for free speech.........but when you exercise your right to free speech like these people do, be prepared to reap what you sow.......



posted on Jan, 11 2011 @ 04:36 PM
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reply to post by SaturnFX
 


Kudos...could not have said it better. I wholeheartedly believe in our constitution, and the rights provided...but for christs sakes, this family just lost their daughter, they should not have to endure the media frenzy these scumbags will bring down...the law states no protests within 300 ft. of a funeral...they still have their right to congregrate and "speak", they just have to do it from a distance.



posted on Jan, 11 2011 @ 04:39 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
reply to post by mishigas
 


I don't know how I feel about this. I really love seeing Phelps pushed back even further, but what does this say about free speech zones and protest areas, that we have hated all along?

Phelps calls Loughner an Afghanistan vet.
He's an idiot.


Could we consider it as we do the crime-free zones around schools?



posted on Jan, 11 2011 @ 04:39 PM
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Originally posted by mishigas

Originally posted by endtimer
reply to post by mishigas
 


You stated that they passed the law. The article clearly says they are
working on passing it? Which is it? Why are these stories always so
misleading with two different themes?


I should have clarified...I'm watching the news; the bill has passed. The article is stale.

Thanks for the update. I am glad it passed. This is the type of law
that needs to be passed everywhere in the US.

Mea culpa.



posted on Jan, 11 2011 @ 04:46 PM
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I am beyond happy that it passed.

I don't feel any sort free speech infraction with this law. If Phelps wanted to picked a random Catholic Church because he feels we're evil (yes I'm Catholic) I don't care picket away. But it is inappropriate and disrespectful to picket a funeral. Picket the issue, he should move to D.C. and stage a little protest everyday, for whatever he hates that day.

In my state, the rule is that protests can not coincide with services. Catholics hold mass during a funeral (well that could be said for most religions), so we don't have him bothering us here.



posted on Jan, 11 2011 @ 04:57 PM
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Even though I find Phelps and his group’s actions despicable, I am a fervent defender of free speech and I will defend Phelps’ right to espouse whatever nonsense, hatred, misguided rage and plain lunacy he wishes, however, that doesn’t mean he has an absolute right to do this, particularly in light of the circumstances and with the purpose of what can only be to get attention, or worse, provoke or offend someone.

I have listened to the oral arguments of the Phelps’ in the Snyder v. Phelps Supreme Court case (his daughter is a Constitutional lawyer and argued the case for them) and they justified their group’s actions by saying they simply want to spread their message. Is this — protesting at funerals — the only way the group has to express their ideas and be heard? If it was the only way I would defend their absolute right to do so, but if the purpose is to simply to express themselves, since there are many ways available to them in which they can do that — some even freely, like posting videos on Youtube, or post their ideas on a blog of their creation — I find their argument and justification for their actions unconvincing.

Another point to take in consideration is the fact that Phelps and his group routinely protest at funerals of dead soldiers, but now, since it helps his cause — which is apparently to get attention and/or shock people — he praises Jared Loughner has a veteran, when, in fact, he wasn’t even. So it’s clear to me that, judging by the group’s actions and hypocrisy, what they do, contrary to their claims, is not really about the message, otherwise their actions would be consistent with the message.

Phelps and his group have an absolute right to express themselves. I have no doubt about that, and I will defend that right. But there is no right to get maximum exposure and that seems to be their real motivation and objective.



posted on Jan, 11 2011 @ 05:04 PM
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While I understand the emotion behind this, I think its a bad idea. There are enough laws on the books to deal with Phelps and his ilk without enacting another one, when did we reach the stage where we need a new law for everything? Keep away, not too hard to do, make a new law just for this one individual.................nope.



posted on Jan, 11 2011 @ 05:10 PM
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And here we see the pinnacle of government agenda pushed thanks to this shooting. The quelling of free speech. Come for the hate-mongers first; get rid of the undesirable element and you can get rid of anything as long as it can be made undesirable.



posted on Jan, 11 2011 @ 05:17 PM
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I believe groups like his just see free media attention and I find it despicable. Protest after, not during let mourners mourn and the deceased R.I.P. I was appalled when there were the mass protests when the casket of fallen troops came home and during their services a few years ago.

I am all for our freedoms but people should excerise them with common sense which seems to be in dwindling supplies today.



posted on Jan, 11 2011 @ 05:20 PM
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The thing that pisses me off about this, is not that the law passed..but that it took a congresswoman getting shot, also resulting in a 9 year olds death to stir the pot. That's what it takes to rattle up the lawmakers enough to do something about Phelps and co protesting funerals. Where the hell have they been? What about the countless other graves they spit on?

The only time laws like this ever get passed is when it's an incident that directly affects congress etc. It's really pitiful.
edit on 11-1-2011 by Wookiep because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 11 2011 @ 07:25 PM
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Originally posted by aptness
Even though I find Phelps and his group’s actions despicable, I am a fervent defender of free speech and I will defend Phelps’ right to espouse whatever nonsense, hatred, misguided rage and plain lunacy he wishes, however, that doesn’t mean he has an absolute right to do this, particularly in light of the circumstances and with the purpose of what can only be to get attention, or worse, provoke or offend someone.

I have listened to the oral arguments of the Phelps’ in the Snyder v. Phelps Supreme Court case (his daughter is a Constitutional lawyer and argued the case for them) and they justified their group’s actions by saying they simply want to spread their message. Is this — protesting at funerals — the only way the group has to express their ideas and be heard? If it was the only way I would defend their absolute right to do so, but if the purpose is to simply to express themselves, since there are many ways available to them in which they can do that — some even freely, like posting videos on Youtube, or post their ideas on a blog of their creation — I find their argument and justification for their actions unconvincing.

Another point to take in consideration is the fact that Phelps and his group routinely protest at funerals of dead soldiers, but now, since it helps his cause — which is apparently to get attention and/or shock people — he praises Jared Loughner has a veteran, when, in fact, he wasn’t even. So it’s clear to me that, judging by the group’s actions and hypocrisy, what they do, contrary to their claims, is not really about the message, otherwise their actions would be consistent with the message.

Phelps and his group have an absolute right to express themselves. I have no doubt about that, and I will defend that right. But there is no right to get maximum exposure and that seems to be their real motivation and objective.


I agree with you up to a point. I'm a little hesitant to get into the how of their choice to express themselves. Remember Piss Christ? And their motives are protected, too. Remember The People vs Larry Flynt?

I just don't want to give the government any chance to modify our rights. Next thing we know, they will eliminate them.

The 1st Amendment is designed to allow speech which may be objectionable. That's when it is toughest to defend it.



posted on Jan, 11 2011 @ 07:28 PM
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I am sure westboro will realize that disrupting the ceremonies of an 9 year old girl will not exactly be good press for them. Now here goes hoping they dont abide by publicity is good publicity.



posted on Jan, 11 2011 @ 07:35 PM
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Originally posted by Cassius666
I am sure westboro will realize that disrupting the ceremonies of an 9 year old girl will not exactly be good press for them. Now here goes hoping they dont abide by publicity is good publicity.


They won't care. They thrive on being repulsive.



posted on Jan, 11 2011 @ 08:20 PM
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Originally posted by mishigas
I agree with you up to a point. I'm a little hesitant to get into the how of their choice to express themselves. Remember Piss Christ? And their motives are protected, too. Remember The People vs Larry Flynt?

In either situation people had at least some control over being exposed to the artwork or Flynt’s movies. In this case, the families of the people whose funerals Phelps and his gang decide to picket don’t have any choice really. In fact, in all of these cases (funerals), most likely, people are exposed to Westboro’s views against their will.

And since you bring up Flint’s name, I believe that in Hustler v. Falwell, the Court mentioned and made the distinction between speech which could be considered objectionable, and speech with specific intent to inflict emotional harm. I’m not arguing that in regards to Westboro’s actions it’s a very clear, black and white, case. Rarely, in fact, when it comes to the First Amendment, is there any such thing as a black and white case.



I just don't want to give the government any chance to modify our rights. Next thing we know, they will eliminate them. The 1st Amendment is designed to allow speech which may be objectionable. That's when it is toughest to defend it.

Make no mistake about it — and I believe my post was explicit and clear about this — I recognize, completely, the right of Westboro, or others, to express their views and ideas, irrespective of considering them to be despicable and in no way to contribute to any meaningful discourse.

I’m not arguing they don’t have the right to express their views, what I am saying is, in light of the circumstances and other factors that I mentioned, and probably others, I’m not sure they enjoy absolute immunity. There is in fact a case in the Supreme Court, Snyder v. Phelps that I mentioned above, that deals exactly with this situation — the family of a someone whose funeral Phelps’ group picketed is suing them for this kind of behavior.

Although free speech is undoubtedly an invaluable right that deserves the strongest protections, the Court has, as I’m sure you know, said and defined on different occasions that exceptions (obscenity, imminent threats, etc) exist that could potentially restrict, or in extreme cases prohibit, some speech.



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