Soldiers funerals are being sabotaged by a Christian group from Westboro who are using the funerals to stage protests against homosexuality. The group believes God is killing off members of the military to punish America for supporting homosexuality.
A motorcycle club made of of veterans has come to support families in their time of need. As the protestors taunt the mourners by singing and chanting anti-gay slogans, the motocyclists build a barrier between he groups. They rev their motocycle engines so that mourners will not hear the digusting things being said. They allow the families to experience their grief in peace.
The club is called the Patriot Guard Riders and began in Kansas. They are made up of members of the VFW, American Legion, Leathernecks Motorcycle club, as well as other groups.
In August of 2005, they heard about anti-gay protestors showing up at military funerals. They believe that whether you support the war or not, families of slain military members should be allowed to mourn with dignity. They should not be harangued and taunted while burying their dead. The first group rode out in October 2005 with over one hundred riders in their midst. Since that first funeral, their ranks have swelled to over 5000.
Normally, they attend military funerals. However, when the anti-gay protestors planned to protest at the funerals of those who died in the Sago Mine tragedy, the Patriot Guard decided to show up in support of the families.
The club never shows up without an invitation from the mourning family. If they learn that the anti-gay protestors will be at a funeral, they will contact the family to lend their support. Everything they do is on the up and up including making sure local law enforcement officials know they will be on hand.
States cannot prevent protests from protesting. However, several states are considering limits on the distance protestors must be in relationship to funeral processions. Families should be allowed to mourn their dead in the manner they choose. The Patriot Guard Riders is making sure that they do.