Funeral protests have been a controversial issue for several years. Many people believe that they have a right to freedom speech in any situation however; someone has a right to bury a loved one in peace. Funeral protest bans do not infringe on freedom of speech. .
“God Hates You” and “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” should not have to be viewed by someone who is trying to bury their loved one who was killed in war. However, according to New York Times (2006), this is what one family had to bear. “I will remember what they did to me, and it has tarnished the memory of my son’s last hour on earth.” This is what one father of a fallen marine had to say after protesters held signs protesting his son’s funeral. New York Times (2010).
Most funeral bans such as the one of the fallen marine are religious protests. People also have the freedom of religion and should not have other religious beliefs forced on them at funerals. Funerals are a religious event for the deceased and those attending. The preferred religion of the deceased and those attending should be the only religion at the funeral. Many states have put bills forth to ban funeral protests. Most of the state bills and laws have been worded carefully to try to avoid concerns over the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of speech. The laws typically seek to keep demonstrators at a funeral or cemetery 100 to 500 feet from the entrance, depending on the state, and to limit the protests to one hour before and one hour after the funeral. Many people believe they have the right to freedom of speech without regard to others feelings. Funerals should be a time of consoling and remembering, not having to fight off protesters. The rights at a funeral should only be held by those attending the funeral. This is not a time to condemn anyone, especially someone who has died for their country.
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