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Sales using dead troops' names stir ire

PHOENIX -- Incensed by the sale of antiwar T-shirts and other paraphernalia emblazoned with the names and pictures of America's military dead, some states are outlawing the commercial use of the fallen without the permission of their families.

Despite serious questions of constitutionality, Oklahoma and Louisiana enacted such laws last year, and the governors of Texas and Florida have legislation waiting on their desks. Arizona lawmakers are on the verge of approving a similar measure.

"You should have some rights to your own name and your own legacy, particularly if you're a deceased veteran," said state Senator Jim Waring, a Republican who sponsored the Arizona bill. "Celebrities have that. Why shouldn't our soldiers have that?"

The bills were prompted largely by pleas from families upset that their loved ones' names and photos were being used on phone cards, body armor, and other products.

In many cases, the target of their ire is Dan Frazier, a Flagstaff man who sells T-shirts online that list the names of 3,155 military personnel killed in Iraq. The shirts bear slogans such as "Bush Lied -- They Died" and "Support Our Remaining Troops -- Bring the Rest Home Alive."

Margy Bons, a Phoenix-area woman whose Marine reservist son, Sergeant Michael A. Marzano, was killed by an insurgent bomb in Iraq in 2005, said he believed in his mission.

"My son was not duped into going to war," she said. "I'm angry that somebody can use somebody else's name for their political beliefs without permission."

Frazier, 41, said he will not relent.

"I'm providing a valuable service to people to help show the enormity of the cost of war," he said.

Under the Arizona bill, violators could get up to six months in jail and fines of $2,500 for an individual and $20,000 for an enterprise. A spokeswoman for Governor Janet Napolitano declined to say whether she would sign the bill if it reached her desk.

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