President Bush has signed a bill aimed at stopping anti-gay protestors from disrupting military funerals. Only in America, folks.
The AP reports that the measure specifically targets:
a Kansas church group that has staged protests at military funerals around the country. The group claimed the deaths symbolized God's anger at U.S. tolerance of homosexuals.
The protestors, of course, are the cult-like Westboro Baptist Church run by the Rev. Fred "God Hates Fags" Phelps.
Anti-gay marriage champion and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee, according to the Baptist Press, said the bill would "preserve the dignity of military funerals" because families "should never have to be harassed by protestors of any stripe as they bury their fallen warriors."
I tend to agree, but the ACLU, in opposing similar state laws and the new federal bill, supports Phelp's right to desecrate private funerals for our fallen military men and women. (Yes, I realize that the ACLU is arguably more or less consistent on free speech, supporting Nazis marching through Jewish neighborhoods and all).
A quick look at some of the leftwing blogs like Daily Kos seems to indicate their readers are more anti-Phelps than anti-Bush on this one (must have been a tough call!). Also, the One Veteran's Voice blog has some interesting thoughts.
More. But blogger Rick Sincere thinks the measure gives Phelps just what he wanted, national attention.
Still more. The father of a Marine whose funeral was picketed is suing the Westboro gang, claiming "You don't have a right to interrupt someone's private funeral."