Connect to share and comment

Westboro Baptist Church vows to defy new law against military funeral protests

Westboro Baptist Church has pushed back against a new law that restricts protests at vets' funerals.

Westboro Baptist Church Betty PhelpsEnlarge
Betty Phelps, daughter-in-law of pastor Fred Phelps and a member of the Westboro Baptist Church, demonstrates outside the Supreme Court while justices hear oral arguements in Snyder v. Phelps, which tests the limits of the First Amendment, October 6, 2010 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/AFP/Getty Images)

Westboro Baptist Church has pushed back against a new law that prohibits protesting at military funerals.

The "Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012" act, which was signed by President Obama Monday, prohibits protests two hours before or after a funeral service, and requires that they occur at least 300 feet from the service itself, the Huffington Post reported

“We have a moral sacred duty to our men and women in uniform,” Obama said before signing the bill, KMAS News reported. “The graves of our veterans are hallowed grounds.”

The law could result in fines of up to $50,000 as well as civil lawsuits, according to the Huffington Post. 

More from GlobalPost: Westboro Baptist Church protest of Powell funeral; Occupy Seattle threatens church

Westboro Baptist Church is notorious for its anti-gay protests outside veteran's funerals, and Tweeted defiantly at Obama on Tuesday that "there's usually prime real estate at 301 feet." 

The organization told CNN last week that it does not plan to stop its protests in light of the new law.

"That's really not going to change our plans at all," said Westboro Baptist Church spokesman Steve Drain. "We're going to continue to do that. We're also going to continue to obey all laws."

The Veterans Act goes against a 2011 Supreme Court ruling which said that such protests as those conducted by the church were protected by the First Amendment, the Examiner reported

Here, Twitter reacts to the new law and Westboro Baptist's response: 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120808/westboro-baptist-church-defies-honoring-veterans-act