2580 Foxfield Rd.
105 State Capitol
Springfield, IL 62706
|Date: April 25, 2006/pk|
|For Immediate Release|
BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION PROTECTING
THE FAMILIES OF FALLEN SOLDIERS PASSES LEGISLATURE
Springfield, IL – Legislation aimed at protecting military families from disruptive funeral protests has gained the approval of the General Assembly, according to State Senator John J. Millner (R- Carol Stream).
Senate Bill 1144, the “Let Them Rest in Peace Act,” prohibits loud and inflammatory protests within 200 feet of all Illinois funeral services beginning 30 minutes before a funeral, during a funeral, and 30 minutes after the funeral.
It was crafted in response to a series of disruptions at military funerals in Illinois and nationwide by members of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas. Westboro is a fundamentalist church group who recently became known for picketing the burials of soldiers and Marines killed in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Senate Bill 1144 also addresses the concerns of the Service Employees International Union and the American Civil Liberties Union, which represents more than 2,000 cemetery workers, by including an exemption to allow workers to protest at their job sites during a labor dispute.
The legislation passed the Senate unanimously on April 5 and the House of Representatives unanimously on April 25. It will now be sent to the Governor for consideration.