Becky Lourey on Funeral Protest Vote

Candidate for Governor Becky Lourey cast the lone dissenting legislative vote today (March 16) on H.F. 2985, making it unlawful to voice protest at funerals.

“As Americans, we stand proudly for freedom of expression; the right is unconditional. The behavior of Fred Phelps’ followers is indefensible. We must not give their actions the power to take away our rights. Our country was built on a foundation of constitutional rights – and one of the most important is the freedom of speech. I will never compromise my convictions for political expediency. I will always stand for freedom.

“The hardest time to stand for freedom is in the face of overwhelming sentiment. This is when the defense of freedom is most important. I will never back down from a vote of conscience. We appear to be losing our ability to respect differences of opinion or have a civil dialogue. Legislating respectful behavior is not likely to help. In fact, more likely it will hurt.”

Later in the year, on the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks, the Saint Paul Pioneer Press commented on remembering 9/11 and paid tribute to Becky Lourey as an example of an officeholder from whom the public should take heart:

We elect people to deal with what may come

“…We in Minnesota will also remember 9/11 this election season.

Whether the war in Iraq will prevent further attacks or divert our resources and stir up more hatred of the U.S. is a dead-serious election issue for us. A Democratic candidate for governor in Tuesday's primary, state Sen. Becky Lourey, lost a son to the war against terror. Army Chief Warrant Officer Matthew Lourey, 40, died when his helicopter was shot down in Iraq last year.

Sen. Lourey upheld the highest and deepest meaning of the 9/11 remembrance when she cast the only vote in the Minnesota Senate this year against a bill to restrict demonstrations at military funerals. Next to her, the flag-waving politicians looked pretty small…”