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Legislation Proposed to Ban Protesting at Funerals

December 12, 2005
By: Jonathan Levin
State Capital Bureau

A proposed bill for the upcomming legislative session would ban protesting at funerals, Jonathan Levin has more from Jefferson City.

The Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas made headlines recently by begining to protest at millitary funerals.

Church members say America's increasing acceptance of gays is the reason people are dying in Iraq and they want parents to know what their children died for.

State Senator Charlie Shields has now proposed legislation that would ban protesting for one hour on either side of a funeral.

Leader of the Church Fred Phelps says the legislation won't stand up to a constitutional challenge.

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Kansas attempted a similar law to try and curtail the groups effort, but it was ruled unconstitutional.

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A proposed bill for next legislative session would ban protesting before, during, and after funerals. Jonathan Levin has more from Jefferson City.

A group known as the Westboro Baptist Church from Topeka, Kansas recently took to protesting military funerals because they say God is killing Americans in Iraq due to the countries increasing acceptance of gays.

Those protests have led to a proposed bill banning protest for one hour on either side of a funeral service.

Church attorney Shirley Phelps-Roper says its a law that won't hold up to a constitutional challenge.

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The legislature will consider the bill in January.

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A controversial groups recent protests at military funerals is partly leading to proposed legislation to ban protesting at funerals. Jonathan Levin has more from Jefferson City.

America's increasing acceptance of gays is the reason the Westboro Baptist Church says it is protesting at military funerals. The group claims soldiers deaths are God's way of punishing America for accepting a group they say is destined for hell.

Their recent protests are partially behind a new proposed bill that would ban protesting for one hour before until one hour after a funeral.

Spokeswoman Shirley Phelps-Roper says the group is just doing the lords talking.

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A similar bill is Kansas was struck down by the courts for being unconsitutional.

From the State Capital, I'm Jonathan Levin.