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Owens Signs Rest In Peace Bill

By: Katherine Cook
By: Katherine Cook

It was created in response to Westboro Baptist Church protesters from Topeka, Kansas and now the Rest In Peace Act is law in Colorado. Governor Bill Owens signed the bill Friday. Members of Westboro Baptist have crashed thousands of funerals across the country, including those honoring fallen soldiers in Colorado. Now protesters will be breaking the law if they come within 100 feet-- or 150 feet if using a public address system-- of mourners.
Rep. Michael Merrifield (D-Manitou Springs) and Senator Brandon Shaffer (D-Longmont) sponsored the bill.
"I'm very pleased the governor signed the bill," said Merrifield. "But at the same time I'm sad that such a piece of legislation had to come forward."
In a twist, the bill actually died after a 3-3 tie in the Senate but was later brought back to the Senate floor before receiving Governor Owens' signature.
"It was resurrected from the dead and now it's alive and ready to go to work," said Merrifield, noting it will honor the men and women who cannot do the same.
While the Rest in Peace Act won't completely ban Westboro protesters, many states which have adopted similar bills say the group has chosen not to return.

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