Ill. Military Funeral Protest Bill Moves Forward
SPRINGFIELD, Ill (KMOX) – SPRINGFIELD, IL – A measure co-sponsored by Senator William Haine (D – Alton) that protects grieving families’ privacy at memorial services has passed the General Assembly.
“The families of the recently departed deserve a veil of privacy and comfort as they honor their loved ones’ memory,” Haine stated.
House Bill 180 builds upon a measure that Senator Haine passed in the 96th General Assembly in response to protests at military funerals. The bill increases the distance by which public misconduct is prohibited near funeral sites to 300 feet from 200 feet.
“We crafted the original law in this way to avoid any First Amendment issue so as to protect the families of our heroes,” Haine said. “We are adding to the statute to ensure the privacy of the loved ones of our fallen servicemen and prevent any disruption of their memorial service.”
Speaking to the string of military protests in the Metro East, Haine believes that these individuals are simply using protests as an ulterior motive for profit.
“This disreputable gang is not trying to speak out on political issues or concerns, their sole purpose is to hurt people and enrich themselves by waging battles in court to generate money,” Haine said. “We carefully crafted a bipartisan measure in the Judiciary Committee to ensure that we could restrain these types of protests without prosecuting the content of speech.”
“Our fallen heroes fought to protect our ideals and our way of life and now it is our duty to guarantee their families’ privacy as we honor their greatest sacrifice,” Haine added.
House Bill 180 now awaits action by the Governor.