Letters: Legislature has double standard for hate laws
On Feb. 12, both houses of the Legislature passed Senate Bill 525, a bill to put reasonable limits on protests outside of funerals. As you may know, Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church of Kansas have been protesting at the funerals of Wisconsin soldiers who have tragically died in Iraq. He and his followers feel that these soldiers are dying because of America's support for its gay and lesbian citizens. During their debate on this bill the legislature rallied against the anti-gay hate speech of Fred Phelps and company.
I find this incredibly ironic that the legislature deplores this "church's" anti-gay hate message at funerals and then this same body of legislators introduces a bill to ban civil unions and same sex marriage. Hate is hate. The hate Phelps represents when he protests military funerals is just as inappropriate as the introduction of hateful legislation like the constitutional amendment to ban civil unions and gay marriage. The hate doesn't come any less tolerable just because it's preached by the legislature while wearing suits instead of carrying signs and using a bullhorn protesting funerals. I hope the people of Wisconsin remember that the Phelps and Co. whom the legislators rallied against with this protesting bill is the same Phelps and Co. they will be walking hand and hand with next November when they support the discriminatory amendment to our constitution.
Michael Kahl Oshkosh
Mark Pocan has a similar post here.