A local state representative, who has filed legislation to toughen state laws to protect what he refers to as the “Sanctity of Funerals,” is renewing calls for action on his legislation.
Marshfield State Rep Jim Cantwell says legislation he filed at the State House was heard on October 5th and is stuck in committee–but if passed and signed into law, would strengthen state statutes to limit the protests outside of funerals for service men and women.
Rep. Cantwell, spoke days after a planned protest by members of the Westboro Baptist Church outside of a fallen soldier’s funeral in Plymouth which incensed area residents.
“Our military servicemen and woman deserve great respect for all the sacrifices to protect our freedoms, but this deserved respect is even heightened when one of these heroes gives the ultimate sacrifice–that would be losing his or her life in service to our country,” said Cantwell.
The Marshfield Representative says the bill restricts the ability of groups like the WBC to do what he calls, ‘wrongly protest’ the funeral of fallen soldiers, and would limit the time they can do it. The bill would restrict protest 1 hour before, or 1 hour after the funeral, and prohibit protests from within 1000 ft of the protest. Cantwell says it would also restrict the use of bullhorns or other devices.
The Westboro Baptist Church announced plans last week to protest outside of the funeral for Specialist Steven Gutowski, which was held earlier this week in Plymouth. Gutowski died earlier last month while serving in Afghanistan.