A controversial Kansas church becomes the target of a possible new law to keep protestors away from funerals." /> A controversial Kansas church becomes the target of a possible new law to keep protestors away from funerals." />
Controlling Funeral Protests?
Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptists Church has held protests at local funerals and various services around the country.
As hundreds gathered in the West Virginia church to mourn the loss of the twelve men who died in the Sago mine accident, members of Fred Phelp's Westboro Baptist Church protested outside. They claim the mining accident was God's revenge against America for its tolerance of homosexuality.
The Topeka-based group has become an unpleasant fixture at funerals of fallen soldiers, much to the disgust of many people.
Senator Jean Schodorf, (R)-Wichita says,"It has bothered me so much and I find it so repugnant...and I know it does everybody that they would do something like that."
Since the funeral protests began, several states are considering bills that would keep the group away from protests.
Kansas has a law on the books that prohibits protests an hour before to two hours after a funeral, but some lawmakers say the law is poorly written.
"It is very vague and it's unenforceable."
So, Senators Schodorf and Carolyn McGinn are drafting a bill to change that would keep protesters 300 feet away from a funeral. That's the length of a football field.
"It doesn't not prohibit their freedom of speech, but it puts them far enough away that hopefully they will not be able to be heard."