Westboro Baptist Church isn’t too happy with Congress, and responded in typical fashion to a bill that would limit their activities: by insulting homosexuals on Twitter and saying their plans wouldn’t change.
Congress passed the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012 Thursday, which prevents demonstrators from picketing military funerals two hours before or after a service. It also requires demonstrators to remain at least 300 feet away from grieving family members. President Obama is expected to sign the bill on Monday.
The Honoring America’s Veterans act was a response to a 2011 Supreme Court ruling in favor of protecting Westboro Baptist’s First Amendment rights. Albert Snyder, the father of deceased Marine Matthew Snyder, filed a lawsuit against Westboro Baptist for causing him emotional pain at his son’s funeral, but the Supreme Court ruled that Snyder’s grief had to yield to the group’s right to free speech in an 8-1 decision.
The lone dissenter, Justice Samuel Alito, said Snyder only wanted to “bury his son in peace,” and that the protestors “brutally attacked” Matthew Snyder with their signs of “Thank God for dead soldiers” and “God Hates the USA/Thank God for 9/11.”
Despite the new act, Westboro Baptist is planning to continue its protests. A spokesman for the church, Steven Drain, told CNN that the new restrictions “were really not going to change [their] plans at all.” Drain also said that the group is going to continue to protest, but will also “continue to obey all laws.”
Margie Phelps, one of the church’s most outspoken members, had some choice words for Congress after the bill was passed. She tweeted,
Member Rebekah Phelps-Roper tweeted,
What do you think of Westboro Baptist Church’s decision to continue protesting military funerals?