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Legislators approve ban on protests near funerals

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PHOENIX » Arizona legislators quickly approved emergency legislation yesterday to head off picketing by a Topeka, Kan., church near the funeral service for a 9-year-old girl who was killed in the Tucson shootings.

Unanimous votes by the House and Senate sent the bill to Gov. Jan Brewer for her expected signature. It would take effect immediately.

Without specifically mentioning the Tucson shooting, the proposed law prohibits protests at or near funeral sites.

Dozens of lawmakers co-sponsored the bill, and legislative action was completed within 90 minutes. The Senate’s committee hearing took just three minutes.

The Westboro Baptist Church said Monday it plans to picket tomorrow’s funeral for Christina Taylor Green because "God sent the shooter to deal with idolatrous America." The fundamentalist church has picketed many military funerals to draw attention to its view that the deaths are God’s punishment for the nation’s tolerance of homosexuality.

 

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