Arizona lawmakers pass funeral protest legislation
January 11th, 2011
08:59 PM ET
8 years ago

Arizona lawmakers pass funeral protest legislation

Tucson, Arizona (CNN) - Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is expected to sign emergency legislation passed Tuesday that bars protests within 300 feet of a funeral and within an hour from its beginning or end.

CNN affiliate KNXV reported that the state legislature passed the measure, which targets a Kansas church whose members announced they plan to picket the funerals of the victims of Saturday's shootings in Tucson.

The legislation makes protesting too near a funeral a misdemeanor in the state.

Filed under: Arizona • Gabrielle Giffords
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Ask yourself how many political rallies took place in the State of Arizona and by whom prior to the shooting of Giffords and others. Answer this question and I will submit that this was only due to a mentally unstable person. Think about it.

    January 11, 2011 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  2. kcl

    Sounds like a good compromise. Freedom of speech upheld for the wackos and dignity restored for family grieving. Now if the media would quit giving them coverage.....sigh.

    January 11, 2011 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  3. Michael

    Wow........Arizona finally did something that makes some kind of sense.....

    January 11, 2011 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  4. Tam

    Have these whackos even explained the purpose of their "protest" at this funeral? What does it have to do with anything?

    January 11, 2011 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |

    WTF!!! What is wrong with people???

    January 11, 2011 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  6. RaveDave

    Excellent! Hopefully all states will adopt a law like this. Free speech is good thing, but too much of a good thing can be bad. There needs to be a balance.

    January 11, 2011 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  7. GonzoinHouston

    We've been talking about hate speech a lot lately, but if you want to see the ultimate example, check out Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church. The church is really just his kids and their families. He's not political; he is an equal-opportunity hater. In terms of hate and abuse he makes Rush look like a rank amateur. Any man who would call himself a Christian minister and loudly protest at the funeral of a soldier killed in war has got to be destined for a special place in hell.

    January 11, 2011 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  8. Derek Balling

    This can't actually be legal under the First Amendment. I mean, seriously.

    January 11, 2011 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  9. Jason

    How nice that the Goverment can make a law to prevent the protest of one of their own, but let those nuts have their way with regular the regular joe.

    January 12, 2011 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  10. James

    I want the WBC to be banned as much as the next person, however, I dont see how this could hold up in court when challenged, as it seems like it my be un-Constitutional, otherwise the Feds would have enacted something by now. If thats the, then unfortunatley another victory for these horrible people.

    Isnt there is a similar case, inolving WBC, pending the Supreme Court?

    January 12, 2011 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  11. jules sand-perkins

    I would strongly support federal legislation expressly prohibiting that Kansas church and its members from demonstrating anywhere about anything, under penalty of life imprisonment.

    January 12, 2011 05:47 am at 5:47 am |
  12. Marie MD

    brewer finally grew a pair. If only the old farts on the supreme court would do the same! First amendment rights should have limits. The people of this cult are horrendous christians, if they really think of themselves as such.

    January 12, 2011 06:20 am at 6:20 am |
  13. Sergio D. Monterroso

    Jan Brewer gets to sign something worth signing, of course we need to remember this was not her idea.

    January 12, 2011 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  14. jules sand-perkins

    It does not matter what a deceased person's views or actions were: every human should be able to bury his loved ones, even executed criminals, with respect and dignity.
    Any religious book that can be construed to contradict this truth is seriously lacking in its jots and tittles.

    January 12, 2011 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  15. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Oh, no. Don't ban them. Grant them a permit for a specific area and if they step one toe outside that area, arrest the entire lot for tresspass and breach of peace!

    January 12, 2011 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
  16. Ain't life strange?

    My goodness! A piece of emergency legislation to bar protesters from 300 feet away from a funeral. Its about time someone took a stand against these crack pots. Now lets see if Brewer could pass emergency legislation for those poor people who are being denied organ transplants and dying because of it.

    January 12, 2011 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  17. artraveler

    Westside Baptist Church is a law firm, masquerading as a church. They have only family as church members and they make their living and cover their costs by suing people after showing up to spread their message of hate. They are the best example as to why the Founding Fathers were very wary about speech. Of course, in those times, they would have been sent west to Indian Territory. Too bad they aren't holidng the funeral on Navajo Territory as then federal law and the Consrtuitution do not apply.

    January 12, 2011 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  18. Eric

    About time some state did this. Protesting a funeral is not protesting, it's harassment.

    January 12, 2011 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  19. obama2012

    Good move, but they should have passed a law that let protester come at they own risk, they would think twice maybe three times before they should up.

    January 12, 2011 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  20. SBZ

    Thank you to the Arizona legistrature ifor protecting these families from this nut-job "church". Hopefully, all states will follow with similiar laws. No one needs to have this type of propaganda spewed as they are putting a loved one to rest!

    January 12, 2011 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  21. gt

    thank you !

    January 12, 2011 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  22. DJ in TX

    Good for Arizona. The Westboro people (I can't call them a church) are ridiculous.

    January 12, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  23. New Age Independant

    It's about damn time!

    January 12, 2011 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  24. Dar

    How can anyone, or for that fact a so called church show such disrespect for the death of an innocent child. These people that belong to this so called church should be investigated by the FBI as any American terrorist would be.
    How long will it be before we see them taking up arms and killing innocent bystanders for their beleifs. Or worse yet someone whom is buring their own while this so called chuch is picketing goes over the edge and starts shooting them. None of this is good and must be stopped.

    January 12, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  25. Bart in Omaha

    The great thing about this is that it will not be ruled unconstitutional until after the funerals. Good for them and the families or this tragedy.

    January 12, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |