Test Drive Our New Site! We have some improvements in the works that we're excited for you to experience. Click here to try our new, faster, mobile friendly beta site. We will be maintaining our current version of the site thru the end of 2024, so you can switch back as our improvements continue.
Legislation Quick Search
04/22/2024 05:37 PM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Home / House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

Subscribe to PaLegis Notifications

Subscribe to receive notifications of new Co-Sponsorship Memos circulated

By Member | By Date | Keyword Search

House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: May 25, 2016 11:01 AM
From: Representative Duane D. Milne
To: All House members
Subject: CRY Legislation: Climate of Respect for You (CRY) at Bereavement Services
In recognition of Memorial Day and to mark its solemn purpose of honoring
members of the Armed Forces whom have died while serving in the U.S. military,
I, along with Rep. Toepel, am reintroducing a two bill package designed to uphold
the dignity deserved during bereavement services.

As an officer in the Army Reserve, I’ll defer to others to decide whether I’m
“twice the citizen” but I do know that I’m doubly offended when the final commemoration
of a service member is hijacked for a demonstration of some sort.

The phenomenon of protests being purposefully orchestrated within the footprint
of a funeral rears up intermittently. Generally these flare ups occur without prior notice, and
render the decedent’s loved ones dealing with a most distasteful distraction at the gathering.
Families and friends of the deceased, in the midst of mourning and going through grieving,
should not have to endure such difficulties being compounded by the discomfort unleased
by uninvited “attendees.”

All constitutionally-derived rights, be they freedom of expression or otherwise, incur some
constraints, whether based upon legal issues, political implications and/or agreed-upon
societal norms. To that end, and consistent with First Amendment principles, Rep. Toepel and I
are introducing a two bill package designed to protect CRY at bereavement services.

Under current state law, individuals commit a third degree misdemeanor[1] if they engage in
demonstration activities within 500 feet of any cemetery, mortuary, church or other location
being utilized for the purposes of a commemorative service within one hour prior to, during and
one hour following said ceremony.

Rep. Milne’s legislation will increase the radius beyond which protestors must remain from
500 feet to 1500 feet of any aforementioned designated site of a commemorative service.
Rep. Toepel’s bill will strengthen the grading of violations of this statute from a third degree to
a second degree misdemeanor.[2]

We would welcome your partnership in advancing CRY.

[1] A third degree misdemeanor is punishable by up to 1 year imprisonment and/or up to a $2,500 fine.
[2] A second degree misdemeanor is punishable by up to 2 years imprisonment and/or up to a $5,000 fine.

Introduced as HB20