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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

First Amendment May Not Protect Church's Protest

[Note. (Jan. 12, 2011) - please page down to the end of the post for the latest news.]

by Mara Gray, AoL News, Dec. 10, 2010.
"The Westboro Baptist Church can say what it likes on its website, but that doesn't mean the group has a right to picket Elizabeth Edwards' funeral with its hate-filled message."

"That's according to legal experts, who say it's likely that the Kansas-based church won't be covered under the First Amendment on Saturday when it protests the funeral of John Edwards' estranged wife, who died Tuesday at the age of 61 after a six-year battle with breast cancer."

" 'First Amendment law makes it clear that the Westboro Church can indulge in vicious lunacy on its website. But the First Amendment does not confer the right to speak anywhere at any time,' Steven Shiffrin, a law professor at Cornell University and a First Amendment scholar, said in a statement to AOL News today."
_more here_

See also :-

Westboro Baptist Church Outnumbered At Elizabeth Edwards' Funeral
by Caitlin Tadlock, AllVoices, Dec. 13, 2010.
"It seems the attention grabbing religious group from Topeka, Kansas failed to cause a major stir at their latest protest, thankfully." ...
... "Former Senator John Edwards, her estranged husband, and their three children joined friends and family at the service."
_more here_ (includes 34 photographs).

Legal arguments :-
Snyder v. Phelps, First Amendment - Freedom of Speech. Oct. 6, 2010.
_click here_

"The Westboro Baptist Church is a fundamentalist Christian church that contends that God kills soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan as punishment for America's tolerance of homosexuality and for the presence of gays in the U.S. military. The church operates a number of websites, including www.godhatesfags.com, on which it disseminates its rabidly anti-homosexual views. The church has gained notoriety for staging protests at the funerals of U.S. soldiers in order to draw attention to its message."
Source: _Citizen Media Law Project_

Video: "Westboro Baptist Church Protests" -- debate on Fox News :-

YouTube page :- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UMP3AK5jwo

NB. The Westboro 'Baptist' Church isn't associated with any mainstream Baptist organization.

Arizona Legislature To Announce Anti-Westboro Law To Protect Shooting Victims
by Nick Wing, The Huffington Post, January 11, 2011.
"Arizona's state legislature has announced a legislative effort to combat the infamous Westboro Baptist Church's plans to picket the funerals of the shooting victims in Tucson over the weekend."
" 'We're going to try to protect the families from undue harassment,' State Rep. Daniel Patterson (D), one of the leaders of a bipartisan group of legislators, told Talking Points Memo Monday."
_more here_

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