Saratoga County, NY
 
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of Saratoga County as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]

ARTICLE I
Protests at Military Funerals (§ 173-1 — § 173-4) 

[Adopted 6-21-2011 by L.L. No. 4-2011]

§ 173-1
Legislative intent and purpose. 

§ 173-2
Definitions. 

§ 173-3
Prohibitions. 

§ 173-4
Penalties for offenses. 

A. 

This Board of Supervisors finds and determines that families of deceased members and former members of the United States Armed Forces have a substantial interest in organizing and attending funerals for their deceased relatives who served in the armed forces.

B. 

This Board of Supervisors further finds and determines that surviving family members participating in such military funerals and related events have a significant interest in quietly mourning the loss of their loved ones without being disrupted by those who are not mourning that loss.

C. 

This Board of Supervisors further finds and determines that protests and demonstrations at military funerals and funeral-related events prevent grieving family members from mourning their loved ones in peace and cause such family members to frequently suffer emotional distress.

D. 

This Board of Supervisors further finds and determines that a full opportunity exists under the terms and provisions of this article for the exercise of free speech and other constitutional rights at times other than the period from two hours before the start of military funerals and funeral-related events until two hours after the completion of the same.

E. 

This Board of Supervisors also finds that the United States Congress has enacted legislation prohibiting demonstrations during, and immediately before and after, funerals conducted at cemeteries under the control of the National Cemetery Administration.

F. 

This Board of Supervisors finds and determines that the County of Saratoga should enact similar legislation to preserve dignity and respect at military funerals and funeral-related events held in Saratoga County at locations other than cemeteries that are under the control of the National Cemetery Administration.

G. 

Therefore, the purpose of this article is to protect the privacy of grieving military families and prevent the disruption of military funerals and related events, and to maintain the peaceful nature of cemeteries, funeral homes, mortuaries, churches, synagogues, or other places of worship, or other locations at which a funeral or funeral-related event is being held. This article shall not apply to demonstrations at funerals or funeral-related events held at cemeteries under the control of the National Cemetery Administration, the prohibition of which demonstrations are governed by federal law.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:

DEMONSTRATION
Picketing and other protest conduct, including but not limited to oration and speech with or without the use of sound amplification equipment or devices, the display of signs with or without verbal accompaniment, and the distribution of any handbill, pamphlet, leaflet or other written or printed matter, which are not part of the funeral, memorial service or ceremony.
FUNERAL-RELATED EVENT
Ceremonies, wakes, funerals, burials, Shiva, processions, and other memorial services held in connection with the deceased member or former member of the United States Armed Forces.
MILITARY FUNERAL
The ceremonies, processions, and memorial services held in connection with the burial of members or former members of the United States Armed Forces.
UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES
The United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, and includes members and former members of the National Guard who were employed in service of the United States.

It shall be unlawful for any person in the County of Saratoga to engage in a demonstration within 500 feet of any church, synagogue, or other place of worship, mortuary, funeral home, cemetery, or other location at which a military funeral or funeral-related event is being held within two hours immediately prior to the commencement of any military funeral or funeral-related event, during any military funeral or funeral-related event, and until two hours immediately following the completion of any military funeral or funeral-related event. The foregoing prohibitions shall not apply to demonstrations at funerals or funeral-related events held at cemeteries under the control of the National Cemetery Administration, the prohibition of which demonstrations are governed by federal law.

Any person who knowingly violates the provisions of this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to one year's imprisonment.