Calif. Restricts Funeral Protests

Tuesday, 18 Sep 2012 12:35 PM

By Alec Weisman

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California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Monday legislation requiring protesters to stay at least 300 feet away from all funerals in the state, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
 
The law targeted the Topeka, Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church, known for protesting at the military funerals of soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq in order to promote its anti-gay beliefs.
 
The governor vetoed similar legislation last year that would have prevented protests from taking place within 1,000 feet of a funeral. At the time, Brown said he could not “in good faith” ignore a 2011 Supreme Court ruling that upheld the Westboro Baptist Church's free speech right to peacefully protest at funerals.
 
The state law covers all funerals, not just for the members of the military. It's includes the same guidelines signed into law by President Barack Obama in August that applies to funerals at national cemeteries.

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