Lawmaker's Wife Ejected With Sheehan

Security escorts Peace activist Cindy Sheehan from the U.S. House of Representatives before President Bush's State of the Union address on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2006, in Washington.
AP Photo/The Washington Times
Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, mother of a fallen soldier in Iraq, wasn't the only one ejected from the House gallery during the State of the Union address for wearing a T-shirt with a war-related slogan. The wife of a powerful Republican congressman was also asked to leave.

Beverly Young, wife of Rep. C.W. Bill Young of Florida — chairman of the House Defense Appropriations subcommittee — was removed from the gallery because she was wearing a T-shirt that read, "Support the Troops — Defending Our Freedom."

When Young was told she was considered a protester, she called the police officer an idiot, but unlike Sheehan, was not arrested, reports CBS News correspondent Bob Fuss.

"Because she had on a shirt that someone didn't like that said support our troops, she was kicked out of this gallery," Bill Young said on the House floor Wednesday morning, holding up the gray shirt.

"Shame, shame," he scolded.

Mrs. Young was sitting about six rows from first lady Laura Bush and asked to leave. She argued with police in the hallway outside the House chamber.

"They said I was protesting," she told the St. Petersburg Times. "I said, "Read my shirt, it is not a protest.' They said, 'We consider that a protest.' I said, 'Then you are an idiot."'

They told her she was being treated the same as Sheehan, a protester ejected before the speech Tuesday night for wearing a T-shirt with an antiwar slogan. Sheehan wrote in her blog Wednesday that she intends to file a First Amendment lawsuit.

"I don't want to live in a country that prohibits any person, whether he/she has paid the ultimate price for that country, from wearing, saying, writing, or telephoning any negative statements about the government," Sheehan wrote.

Capitol Police took Sheehan, invited as a guest of Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif., away in handcuffs and charged her with unlawful conduct, a misdemeanor. She later was released on her own recognizance.