Fred Phelps hates gays. So do a lot of people. But Phelps carries his hatred even further. He insists that God is punishing the US military for protecting a country that tolerates gays.
Why he thinks God would punish the only government organization that fires people for being openly gay isn't clear. He also fails to realize that the military is fighting fanatics who would like to deny Phelps the right to practice the Christian faith or his twisted version of it.
He recently has been staging protests at the funerals of US casualties from Iraq and Afghanistan. Do not make mistake this man for a peace protester. This man is as openly pro-violence as they come. At these protests, he and members of his cult have desecrated American flags and shouted insults at grieving family members, expressing joy at the death of the soldier who is being mourned. Most members of the mainstream peace movement insist that they are motivated by the safety of the troops.
Personally, I can't wait for this nut to drink his almond-scented Kool-Aid and get it over with.
Some however are advocating a more proactive approach however. A bill in the General Assembly will make a disorderly conduct charge a felony if the act takes place at a military funereal. This bill is similar to hate-crime legislation in that it provides for a harsher sentence for crimes motivated by hate. In many states, beating a gay man with a tire jack because he is gay carries a harsher sentence than delivering a similar beating to a cashier because he doesn't know the combination to the safe.
Note that this law only applies to military funerals. If somebody sings "Ding Dong The Wicked Bitch is Dead" at your grandma's wake, it would still be a misdemeanors unless she was in WAVES, WAC, or was a nurse in a field hospital.
Perhaps the fact that an crime took place at a funereal could be considered an aggravating circumstance. In that case, such protections should not be limited to funerals of military personnel and veteran. They should be extended to services for police officer, firemen, grandmothers, and everyone else for that matter.
(I should also extend my sympathies to the makers of Kool-Aid. It isn't fair that their drink is now associated with mass suicide. I did a Google search of Kool-Aid just to see what would happen. Low and behold, the web page listed below the official site defined "drinking the Kool-Aid" as a slang term for blind obedience.)