Proposed Funeral Protest Law

State lawmakers are expected to hear testimony today on a bill designed to limit when and where people may protest at funerals.

The measure was prompted by protest by members of a Kansas church, who've protested at numerous funerals, including several for soldiers killed in Iraq.

The protesters say Americans are dying for a country that harbors gays and lesbians, and that God is causing the soldiers' deaths.

Manitou Springs Democratic Representative Mike Merrifield says he's trying to balance the free speech rights of anti-war protesters, and the rights of families to mourn peacefully and privately.

His measure would create a 500-foot buffer zone between the funeral and the protesters, from one hour before until one hour after the service.

Violators could be charged with a misdemeanor that carries a 750 dollar fine and six months in jail.

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