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07-08-09, 08:11 PM #1
ACLU sues city so that Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church can continue to yell 'God Hates Fags' at military funerals
ST. LOUIS – The American Civil Liberties Union sued Maplewood today on behalf of a controversial Kansas-based church that protests at the funerals of soldiers, alleging that the city's funeral protest ban is unconstitutional.
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in St. Louis, is a first in eastern Missouri but part of a broader effort by the ACLU to go after state and local laws that have been passed in recent years targeting funeral protests, said Tony Rothert, legal director of the ACLU of Eastern Missouri.
Missouri and Illinois are among the more than two dozen states and the federal government that have passed similar laws. Many, if not all, were prompted by the activities of the Westboro Baptist Church and founder Fred Phelps, who believe that America is being punished by the deaths of soldiers and others for its "tolerance" of homosexuality. Church members began protesting at the funerals of gays but then started protesting at soldiers' funerals and carrying signs such as "Thank God For Dead Soldiers."
The church has already won an initial victory against a Missouri law that banned funeral protests.
Phelps-Roper sued in federal court in 2006 to block enforcement of Missouri's law, passed earlier that year. Their bid for a temporary ban on enforcement of the law was initially turned down by a lower court judge, but the 8th U.S. Court of Appeals in St. Louis reversed that decision and the U.S. Supreme Court on June 29 declined to hear Missouri's appeal.
The trial of that suit is now scheduled for the summer of 2010, Rothert said.
"Maplewood's is worse than most of the ordinances and worse than the state statute," Rothert said, because the protest exclusion zone is wider and lasts longer. Maplewood also has a floating buffer zone around funeral activities, he said.
It's pretty clear, Rothert said, that laws like that one are creating "an exception to the First Amendment that's not been made before."
Maplewood Mayor James White declined comment on the suit. He referred a reporter's question to a lawyer who did not immediately return a message.
07-08-09, 09:41 PM #2
Better leave it alone and let the police handle it in an orderly fashion. If not, it might come to a head at one of the funerals and one of the patriotic groups that attend will handle it in a much more direct manner.*************************"It wouldn't take much for me to up and run...to another life somewhere in the sun."*************************"There's something inherently wrong with having to put on a bullet-proof vest and a gun to go to work."-(An old friend)
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07-08-09, 10:21 PM #3
I think soldiers should organize platoons to go to funerals of this "church's" membership and ACLU members carrying signs and chanting that God is punishing this "church's" membership and ACLU members for being a bunch of disrespectful assholes. I betcha that shit will stop quick , fast and in a hurry.SI VIS PACEM PARA BELLUM-Ex-Sheriff Martin Howe to Will Kane in "High Noon"
"It's a great life. You risk your skin catching killers and the juries turn them loose so they can come back and shoot at you again. If your honest , your poor your whole life. And , In the end , you wind up dying all alone on some dirty street. For what? For nothing. For a tin star."
Far from being a handicap to command, compassion is the measure of it. For unless one values the lives of his soldiers and is tormented by their ordeals , he is unfit to command.
-General Omar Bradley, United States Army
07-08-09, 10:24 PM #4
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Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
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07-09-09, 01:56 AM #5
That group funds their hate by suing. They also threaten to protest at funerals for publicity and often don't show up.
You may recall they threatened to protest during the funeral procession for the Amish girls raped and murdered a few years back.Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.
Do not puff, shade, skew, tailor, firm up, stretch, massage,
or otherwise distort statements of fact.FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley
07-09-09, 02:15 AM #6
07-09-09, 02:49 AM #7
Choose The Right. When you're doing whats right, then you have nothing to worry about.
Not a LEO
In memory of Sgt. Howard K. Stevenson 1965 - 2005. Ceres Police Dept.
In memory of Robert N. Panos 1955 - 2008 Ceres Police Dept.
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