Earlier this month, Log Cabin stood alone among gay groups praising Mary Cheney for telling her story and acknowledging her father’s (Vice President Dick Cheney) outspoken opposition to the Federal Marriage Amendment, noting that it was “the only time since being sworn in as Vice President that he publicly expressed disagreement with the President.” A state Log Cabin leader reminded me that yesterday Log Cabin once again praised a Republican, this time applauding the president for signing legislation banning protests at military funerals.
Fred Phelps, an anti-gay pastor, not satisfied just to protest at funerals of gays, had begun to protest at the funerals of servicemen and women who died fighting the war of Terror. That Kansas Democrat claimed “the fallen service members deserve their fate because of this country’s tolerance of gay and lesbian people.” Log Cabin President Patrick Guerriero said that the new law, the Respect for America’s Fallen Heroes Act, “gives the families of America’s fallen heroes the dignity and respect they deserve.”
The law bars protests within 300 feet of the entrance to a national cemetery as well as within 150 feet of a road leading to the cemetery. It’s unfortunate that crackpots like Phelps have to make spectacles of themselves by dishonoring the dead in order to attract media attention. This creep makes Madonna’s publicity stunts seem banal by comparison.
While I’m always skeptical of laws designed to limit protest, even those of creeps like Phelps, in this case, legislation seemed necessary in order to allow the families of our fallen heroes a chance to mourn their loved ones in a dignified manner. Given that this new law has been narrowly tailored, it should mass constitutional muster.
Congress and the president did the right thing. Kudos to Patrick Guerriero and Log Cabin for praising the president on this one.
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com