News & Politics

Arizona Passes Bill Making It Illegal to Protest Near a Funeral


Following up on today’s earlier post about the Westboro Baptist Church’s intended picketing of the funeral service for Christina Taylor Green, the 9-year-old killed in the shooting in Tucson on Saturday, we’ve learned that Arizona legislators have approved emergency legislation that would make it a misdemeanor to protest within 300 feet of funeral or burial sites.

The House and Senate voted unanimously on the bill, which goes to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer today for signature. This may be the fastest bipartisan legislative action ever. The Washington Post reports “the Senate’s committee hearing took just three minutes.” So, gee, thanks Westboro-ites for helping us all agree on something!

However, it’s unclear whether the legislation will actually impact Westboro, which continues to make enemies far and wide, by, among other things, “thanking God” for shooter Jared Lee Loughner. Ugh. Via the Washington Post, Shirley Phelps-Roper, daughter of Westboro “pastor” Fred Phelps, “said the prohibition wouldn’t matter because church members plan to picket at one of two intersections more than 1,000 feet from the church where the girl’s service will be held.”

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 11, 2011

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