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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Disorderly application of the law

What the members of the Westboro Baptist Church do at military funerals is despicable; may they be consigned to the lowest circle of hell. But as a legal matter, should they be really be treated differently from other protestors who protest at other types of events? Yes, charge them with disorderly conduct if it applies. But making such conduct a felony at military funerals and keeping it a misdemeanor at other events doesn't seem very much like equal treatment under the law. And it's disingenuous to say that the "public safety" exception, which is why disorderly conduct at an airport is a felony, should be applied here. When a law is proposed, one of the first questions that should be asked is, "Will it apply to all people equally?" If the answer is no, the law is suspect and should face much tougher scrutiny.


LP Mike Sylvester
Mon, 10/31/2005 - 6:07pm

I think people who protest the war at military funerals are lowlife scum.

That being said, I do not think we need a special law to cover this one specific situation.

I think America would be best off if The Feeral government passed a law that at least 10 stupid laws had to be removed from the books EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Steve Towsley
Thu, 11/03/2005 - 10:23pm

A funeral is not merely an event like any other. It's a largely private ceremony arranged by family and friends to bury their loved one. Persons acting in the role of private individuals to bury their dead have every right to a respectful funeral in this country.

I see absolutely nothing wrong, and much that is right, with passing a law to stop shameless imbeciles from acting out their own problems at someone else's expense while trying to rationalize the behavior as a protest. As the saying goes, your rights end where mine begin.

Unless we want the kind of funerals they've had for many years in Northern Ireland, complete with armed violence, the government may need to assure the peace by law at all funerals, military or otherwise.