Restrictions on funeral protesting bill passes in House
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Restrictions on funeral protesting bill passes in House

Date: March 3, 2011
By: Emily Kissee
State Capitol Bureau
Links: HB 61

Intro: 
A day after the U.S Supreme Court ruled funeral protesting was protected free speech, Missouri's House voted to restrict funeral protesting.
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OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: The high court ruled against a group that filed suit, saying funeral protesters inflicted emotional pain on them.

That was a civil case, but Missouri's House is working to make it a crime to protest near or during a funeral.

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a similar Missouri law two years ago.

But now, lawmakers are back...

...With Southern Missouri Republican Representative Ward Franz saying the bill would protect grieving families.

Actuality:  FRANZ.WAV
Run Time:  00:08
Description: "It's a simple idea to allow families to mourn the loss of a loved one in peace and to give them a chance to have some closure in a very difficult time."

Franz got overwhelming approval from the House.

The bill now moves to the Senate.

From the state Capitol, I'm Emily Kissee.

Intro: 
A day after the U.S Supreme Court ruled funeral protesting was protected free speech, Missouri's House voted to restrict it.
RunTime:  0:42
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: Nearly 90 percent of representatives voted to make it a crime to protest within 500 feet of funerals.

The bill also prohobits protesters from picketing two hours before and two hours after the event.

St Louis Democratic Representative Mike Colona says the Supreme Court ruling has very little to do with this bill.

Actuality:  COLONA2.WAV
Run Time:  00:11
Description: "That case yesterday dealt with a civil lawsuit where an individual was suing the Westboro Baptist Church not for breaking alaw but for intentional infliction of emotional distress."

In 2009, the Supreme Court struck down a Missouri law restricting funeral protesting.
 
But House Speaker Steve Tilley says lawmakers in Missouri can't worry about the Supreme Court.

From the state Capitol, I'm Emily Kissee

Intro: 
Missouri's House voted to restrict funeral picketing a day after the U.S Supreme Court ruled it is protected free speech.
RunTime:  0:34
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap:  More than 90 percent of Missouri's House voted in favor of making it a crime to protest within 500 feet of funeral.

St. Louis Democratic Representative Jeanette Oxford was one of the few to vote against it.

Oxford criticized her colleagues for voting for the bill.   

Actuality:  OXFORD6.WAV
Run Time:  00:10
Description: "If we'll go back to our districts and we'll work with our constituents to help them understand that what we're doing here is protecting the constitution when we vote no, our constitutents are grown-ups and they'll understand that."

Oxford urged her lawmakers to protect free speech, even if it is unpoular.

The bill now goes to the Senate.

From the state Capitol, I'm Emily Kissee.


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