To head off funeral protests by “those people” at the Westboro Baptist Church, Arizona legislators quickly approved emergency legislation on Tuesday. Quick as in within 90 minutes – the Senate’s committee hearing took just three minutes.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed the legislation Tuesday establishing “funeral protection zones” to keep protesters away from the memorial services for the victims of Saturday’s shooting in Tucson.
The law will establish a 300-foot perimeter around a funeral location beginning one hour before a service until one hour after a service. It’s based on an Ohio law that was upheld by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Gov. Berwer said the bill “will assure that the victims of Saturday’s tragic shooting in Tucson will be laid to rest in peace with the full dignity and respect that they deserve.”
The Westboro Church announced it was going to picket the funeral of 9-year-old shooting victim, Christina Green. They also attempted to protest at Elizabeth Edwards’ funeral late last year.
It boggles the mind that these people who call themselves Christians take every opportunity they can to get media attention for their twisted views by pouncing upon people in the midst of grief and mourning. Good for Arizona! More state may want to consider passing similar laws.
POST SCRIPT: In exchange for not protesting funerals in Arizona, Westboro Church spokespeople will be interviewed by national media. From The Washington Post:
Shirley Phelps-Roper of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka says her church has agreed to avoid Thursday’s funeral of 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green in exchange for live interviews on radio shows in Canada and Arizona.
The church also promised to not protest the Friday funeral of U.S. District Judge John Roll or other shooting victims after a nationally syndicated radio show agreed to host church members.