Make no mistake about it: the Westboro Baptist Church is a disgusting, hate-mongering organization par with the KKK. But they, like everyone else, have the right to stage a legal protest. And this ruling is nothing more than a government sanction against their right to free speech in the United States.
An anti-homosexual protest at the funeral of a soldier who died honorably for this country is not only asinine, it's morally repulsive to anyone with any sense of intelligence and decency.
But it's not illegal. It's protected speech.
I've had more than one conversation with Shirley Phelps Roeper, and while she is a hideous human being, she's not stupid. She is a lawyer, and many of her relatives that are also involved with the WBC are also lawyers. One thing that they know is the law, and they've been very careful throughout their existence not to violate it during their protests. This ruling is nothing more than a kneejerk reaction to what many perceive to be hate speech.
The only reason free speech advocates are not as up-in-arms as they'd normally be is because... well, who in their right mind would defend the WBC?
Well, I suppose I'm not in my right mind this morning, because I am standing up and defending the WBC's right to be bigoted idiots. I do so for two reasons:
1. Government endorsed sanctions (and that's what this is, don't kid yourselves) against ANYONE'S right to free speech in this country is a violation of the Constitution of the United States of America.
2. If such a ruling is not overturned (and I'm confident it will be,) it can have dangerous implications on the future of free speech in this country.
Remember folks, people exercising their right to free speech in this country works to further stratification of the populace at large. Without it, it's one less tool in our toolbox.
Think about that the next time something like this occurs.