US President Obama has signed a bill into law which while make protests within 300 feet of military funerals, of the kind favoured by the God Hates Fags Westboro Baptist Church, illegal.

The Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012 introduces a range of new military benefits in addition the the law prohibiting pickets at the funerals of military personnel.

President Obama said: “We have a moral sacred duty to our men and women in uniform.

“The graves of our veterans are hallowed ground. And obviously we all defend our Constitution and the First Amendment and free speech, but we also believe that when men and women die in the service of their country and are laid to rest, it should be done with the utmost honor and respect.”

Westboro Baptist Church protests at the funerals of US service men and women because it claims the death of soldiers is a sign of God’s wrath against homosexuality.

It continues to attract attention by upsetting mourners. Its activities have resulted in members being barred from entering the UK.

The law now prohibits such protests within 300 feet of a military funeral, and those between two hours before and after the service.

It has been passed in response to a Supreme Court ruling from March last year which confirmed the Church should be allowed to protest under its members’ First Amendment rights to free speech.