Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signs bill limiting funeral protests
A shrine to the victims of a shooting rampage Saturday in Tucson, Arizona, grows larger Tuesday.
January 11th, 2011
09:15 PM ET

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signs bill limiting funeral protests

[Updated at 9:15 p.m. ET] Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed emergency legislation Tuesday night setting limitations on protests at funerals. The bill is aimed at the Westboro Baptist Church, which plans to picket the funerals of those who died in Saturday's shootings.

[Posted at 5:50 p.m. ET] The Arizona Legislature unanimously has passed a bill meant to stop church from protesting at funerals of Tucson shooting victims.

The vote was 29-0 in the state Senate and 58-0 in the state House. A spokesman for Gov. Jan Brewer earlier told CNN that she was prepared to sign the bill.

Read more about the legislation
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Filed under: Arizona • Gabrielle Giffords • Politics
soundoff (258 Responses)
  1. Kelly D.

    This 'church' is comprised of only a few families. There is an explanation then for their bizarre behavior. Inbreeding.

    January 11, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Walker

    Finally some peace and respect for the families and the victims of this terrible tragedy. Nobody should be allowed to protest and or picket funerals, first amendment rights or not.

    January 11, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  3. mansico cudge

    RE: There are no Gods. You are wrong when you say that there are no artifacts or references to Jesus outside of the bible. The Roman historian Tacitus (writing during Jesus' lifetime) mentions him. Specifically, he notes that someone named Christos is stirring up the Jews in Jerusalem. Questions of divinity are arguable, but there is no doubt that he did in fact exist.

    January 11, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  4. LittleMo

    Frankly I'm surprised that somebody hasn't taken a shot at WBC. Just as they have an extreme belief in that hate-filled nonsens they spew everywhere there are peopel who believe in going to extreme measures to defend the rest of us against people like that. While no one deserves to be killed if I ever heard that something had happened to Fred Phelps and his followers I do not think I would have it in me to mind. The worst part for me is that as awful as it is to do this kind of thing anywhere, the first funeral – and the one that has galvanized Arizona into action – is a funeral for a little girl. What did that poor little girl ever do to them? It doesnt' matter if they hate the religion her parenst belong ot or the church she attends – she was 9 years old. The devil has to be waiting with open arms for these people.

    January 11, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Marc

    I'd love for this baptist crapist church to come to my neighborhood in bronx, ny and try to protest the funeral of a hispanic or black family member. The cops would be very busy the day booking a lot of people for manslaughter and those convicted would be very happy and content with the verdict.

    January 11, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. !c3D0g

    @ TANG Jesus might well have been a real person. You have no proof to the contrary. Hundreds of "Historic figures" were said to exist throughout history yet no actual artifacts have been found to prove their existence. You might use the argument that the pages of history have recorded their existence but then I would say, look to the bible. It has as much right to be classified as a book of history as does any other. I do not believe in any Organized Religion but I will not state unequivicably that Buddha, Mohammed, or Jesus never existed. Neither would I say the same about Ghengis Khan, Attila the Hun or Julius Ceasar. Nothing but word of mouth transcribed onto pages and imagined images carved into statues give any proof to their existence.

    January 11, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jim R Jones

    Churches were made for control of the Masses. Looks like this Church from Kansas has some really STUPID MASSES!

    January 11, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marc

      Jim, I think what you meant to say was "Looks like this Church from Kansas has some really STUPID ASSES!

      January 11, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mark silvers

    Excellent. Go Arizona lawmakers!

    January 11, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Kite005

    Duplicate comment detected; it looks as though you’ve already said that! Yeah I did post that but it's not here.

    January 11, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Joshua Ludd

    I am neither a fan of these ghoulish idiots or of government keeping them from having the right to protest... but if it is in this one case.. especially given that one of the victims was a 9 year old girl, I can't really complain too much.

    January 11, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Tim

    By no means do I approve of the protests at these services, so don't get me wrong. But there is an important issue at stake here. These protestors do have 1st Amendment protections for their protests. The AZ legislature, while perhaps well intentioned, has nonetheless ignored that. I think the most telling blog I've read in all of this (I don't recall who wrote it, but I saw it earlier today) sums the matter up nicely: The Arizona legislature abridges first amendment rights to protect a young girl's funeral instead of abridging second amendment rights to protect the young girl's life.

    Would a little bit of common sense gun control really be that outlandish?

    January 11, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • mark

      The N.R.A. is too powerful and has too many politicians in their pockets.

      January 11, 2011 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |

    Great Job AZ government, now you mentally incapacitated misfits should pass a strong gun control law with waiting period that prevents insane unemployed morons with no friends or recommendations from getting killing weapons of mass destruction.Your entire state is one of insanity.

    January 11, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Marc

    I applaud the thought, but how is this legal given the 1st Amendment?

    January 11, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • H

      it's perfectly legal. They aren't banning protest, they are saying you can't protest right next to a funeral while it is going on.

      the 1st amendment has limits. For instance, you cannot yell fire in a crowded theatre. This is because the rights of the individual do not surpass the rights of the community. Slander is also illegal.

      In this case, the rights of the church do not outweigh the right of a family to have privacy during their daughter's funeral. So the church is allowed to protest, but not AT the family's funeral because the state has decided that the right to privacy is in this case more important than the location of a protest.

      January 11, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jonny

    FINALLY Arizona Leg. do something CORRECT for a change.

    January 11, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • H

      yea, so what's that make the score now, arizona 1, idiocy 300?

      January 11, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Tom

    I live in Topeka, and I live less than a mile from the Phelps compound. I think that they're a blight on the city, the state and the country. I haven't met a single citizen in Topeka who doesn't hold these people disdainfully. Their church is mostly family members, several of whom are attorneys who will file a lawsuit at the drop of a hat. They are self-serving and, in my opinion, act only in their own interests. If there a living example of "cult", look no further than than Fred Phelps and his congregation.

    January 11, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • jan


      January 11, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • trex

      gay and lesbian PARADE TIME

      January 11, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
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