Many from all over the political map stand against WBC; legislation is not the right answer. Please don't encourage legislators to spend time this legislative session creating laws that bolster government's lack of faith in constituents. We're empathic and act as such because it's the right thing to do. David Schapira talked about Tikkun Olam today at the capitol: the Jewish principle of healing the world. True Tikkun Olam comes from within our hearts and shows through our actions--it isn't the result of legislation.
There's a group doing a guardian angel style buffer zone already (and several others), and I'm hoping to organize a group from Phoenix as well.
I don't think a reaction that dims the rights in the very amendment that Gabrielle Giffords read in Congress the other day is appropriate. Perhaps we can all work together to get as many Arizonans as possible to join this effort.
What do you think, everyone? How many of us would it take to volunteer and pledge our time, resources, and support so that we can do this together, without legislation?
Okay, so the legislation passed in a day. I was posed the question earlier about whether, since it isn't content-based, it might pass constitutional muster. I'm thinking no.
First, it might actually be considered content-based. It is hugely debatable, again because of Kentucky. This bill was written by a state legislator who tweeted "#NotIfICanHelpIt" when describing the WBC's planned protest prior to writing the bill. It's content specific in that regard.
Just because it isn't content based doesn't mean it will stand. Content based protest legislation is given *more* scrutiny, but that doesn't mean non-content based legislation isn't given any. A content-neutral statute is subject to intermediate scrutiny and is valid if it is narrowly tailored to serve a significant government interest and leaves ample alternative channels of communication. So one must ask, what alternative venues of communication are open?
The church could argue that they're demonstrating to reach the media that are covering the funerals, not to reach the mourners and attendees. How do they ensure their access to the media if they're so far away that media doesn't need to pass them to arrive at their event that they are covering?
Senator Sinema should have made it smaller than 300 feet if she wanted it to stand. In Kentucky, the courts found that 300 feet was too large and encompassed too many avenues by which to enter and exit the funeral in question.
Plus, the WBC can merely call their demonstration a "prayer vigil" or "evangelical exhibit" or something and not be considered picketing. They seem to just need to affix crosses to their signs and talk about Jesus.
Oh, and to frost the cake: the peaceful counter-protesters with angel-wings creating a barrier of good nature so the families could grieve are now considered "protesters" themselves so they would be guilty of a misdemeanor. Oh joy.
Good job, legislature. Now the "poor, defenseless" bigots can sue the state and win. Can you at least amend it so the guardian angels counter-protesting in peaceful silence can still display their support?