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West Michigan Residents Plan Human Shield Vs. Westboro Baptist Church At Marine’s Funeral

Joshua Lott/Getty Images

Officials with the Westboro Baptist Church have said that they plan to protest a Holland Marine’s funeral on Saturday, August 11th.

In statements, they have claimed that the deaths of US soldiers are God’s way of punishing the country for accepting homosexuality.

On Monday President Barack Obama signed a law requiring protesters be at least 300 feet from military funerals, two hours before and after the events. Violators could face fines and up to two years in prison.

A Facebook group is organizing a counter-protest in West Michigan to create a “human shield” to block protesters from Gunnery Sgt. Daniel Price’s family as they mourn the loss of their loved one. Many former military members from the Veterans of Foreign Wars will be in attendance. The Patriot Guard Riders, a group of motorcycle riders who attend funerals such as this after being invited by the families, will also be on hand Saturday morning.

Gunnery Sgt. Price died July 29 during combat in Afghanistan. He was 27 years old and on his sixth deployment. He will be remembered during a ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday at Central Wesleyan Church in Holland.

Westboro Baptist Church wrote in a press release that the new law will not stop them from protesting military funerals. Michigan actually has its own law, requiring protesters to be at least 500 feet away from funerals.

The “human shield” has worked in other towns, including College Station, Texas, Aurora, Colorado, and Columbia, Missouri.

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