Funeral Buffer Zone

By: Lauri Martin
By: Lauri Martin

Waving their American flags, lawmakers, military families and Patriot Guard Riders rallied on the capitol steps. They’re introducing a bill ("Let Them Rest In Peace Act") that would keep protestors at least 500 feet away from a funeral, an hour before, during and after the service.

This all stems after the funeral of Sergeant Gordon Misner a few weeks ago when members from the Westboro Baptist Church (from Kansas) protested outside the cemetery and carried signs saying “God hates fags” and “Thank God for IED’s”. The controversial group believes troops deserve to die fighting for a country that tolerates homosexuality.

The Westboro Baptist Group was protesting the proposed bill at the capitol, just like they protest the funerals. It caused quite a stir and angry words were exchanged. The group believes their freedom of speech rights are being violated in the bill, but lawmakers disagree. "I don't think their message is Christian, it's vile, appalling, but they have a right to that message, they just can't interfere with privacy for those in mourning," Rep. Mike Merrifield (D) Manitou Springs said. He’s sponsoring the bill along with Buffie McFayden (D) Pueblo West.

26 states have proposed similar legislation. Of those, 5 have already made it law.


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