The Arizona state legislature passed emergency legislation prohibiting protests within 300 feet of a funeral or burial service.
The emergency law was passed to stop the Westboro Baptist Church from picketing the funeral of Christina Taylor Green, the 9-year-old girl who was killed in the Tucson massacre. The vote was 29-0 in the state Senate and 58-0 in the state House.
ABC News reports that just after 9pm ET tonight, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed emergency legislation limiting protests at funerals.
CNN reports there are other groups who are trying to ensure that Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church members don’t disrupt the funerals of the Tucson shootings. According to CNN, one group is led by a friend who watched WBC protest a funeral:
“Romaine Patterson, who saw Westboro Baptist protest the funeral of his friend Matthew Shepherd. People are signing up to wear giant ‘angel wings’ that shield mourners from the picketers.”
The Phoenix New Times talked to Shirley Phelps-Roper, one of the leaders of the Westboro Baptist Church Group. Phelps-Roper said the members of WBC planned to picket the funeral of Christina Taylor Green but that they were “looking forward to it” and that the 9-year-old was “going to hell”. You can read the rest over at the Phoenix New Times.
Westboro Baptist Church love to protest high profile funerals. WBC tried to picket the funeral of Elizabeth Edwards, as well as funerals of soldiers who’ve died in Iraq, and people who have died of AIDS.
They disrupt families on the worst day of their lives by picketing but the purpose that is served? You tell me.