Members of the truculent Westboro Baptist Church remained defiant yesterday in the face of a newly signed law restricting their ability to protest military funerals.
The Honoring America's Veterans Act, signed into law yesterday by President Obama, requires all protesters in the vicinity of military funerals to remain 300 feet away for two hours before and after the funeral service.
But church members said they plan to keep picketing the funerals regardless of the restriction.
"It wont affect what we do at all," 47-year-old Steve Drain, the only WBC congregant not related by blood or marriage to leader Fred Phelps, told ABC News. "It wont affect what we do at all. We are still going to be out there at soldiers funerals warning people that America is doomed."
Drain said the church plans to respect the law, but not its intent. "We will do it in a lawful fashion," he told the news outlet. "We will stand 301 feet away. There is prime preaching real estate at 301 feet. My voice can carry a lot farther than 300 feet. That is only the size of a football field."
In 2011, the Supreme Court ruled that WBC protests were protected by the First Amendment. The Honoring America's Veterans anti-protest stipulations appear to override that ruling — a potentially risky precedent that has some outside the WBC raising their eyebrows and drawing allusions to the controversial "Free Speech Zones."
[photo via AP]