Gov. Jerry Brown vetoes ban on picketing at military funerals

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Gov. Jerry Brown said Wednesday he found picketing at military funerals ‘offensive,’ but he rejected legislation that would have outlawed the practice, saying courts have determined that the practice is a right of free speech.

State Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) had proposed a law in response to demonstrations by members of a Kansas church who show up at the funerals of fallen soldiers to spread their assertions that the deaths of U.S. soldiers are divine retribution for the nation’s tolerance of homosexuality.

Brown said in his veto message on SB 888 that ‘I am very tempted to sign it.’

‘But earlier this year, the Supreme Court ruled that funeral protests are protected by the 1st Amendment and can be circumscribed in only extremely limited ways,’ he wrote. ‘I cannot in good faith sign this measure because it plainly fails to comport with the Supreme Court’s decision.’


-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento