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. Alton

    Sheeesh....whats next ???? Protesting perceived grievances at funerals is the most ridiculous practice ever done.
    Why would any state have to be put in such a position ? What a bunch of religious fanatics. Why would anyone want to disrupt such an occasion ? Generally speaking, I can't think of ANYTHING more cruel. To be paying ones last respects to a passing friend or loved one, and to have a group squealing disrespectful things outside funerals is
    SO unthinkable.

    January 11, 2011 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Greg

    In a strange way the people at Westboro are correct. "Christians" will rally themselves together against a social agenda sanctioned by religious establishments (abortion, gay rights, creationism) and say absolutely nothing about this abhorrent behavior. Interestingly, it is the Hells Angels that are coming to the forefront. I is apparent to me that the religious right has "sold" themselves to politics, the media (FAUX News) and have become unable to stand up for what is right. They have allowed themselves to become ineffectual.

    January 11, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. freewords

    They (WBC) are designing religion. We are born free and we do not need to hate. And Christ died on the cross to save the sinners, and said “Repent the Kingdom of Heaven at hand.” Did we all have sinned and we need to repent and we must live free, for God did not put a tie on us, and God added “do not judge and do not say fool, and do not hate others and to show love and compassion”

    January 11, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • runs with acid

      t-rex would use the cross as a toothpick to clean his teeth
      after he consumed all the romans and ate jesus like a hor dourve

      January 11, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • freewords

      Aren’t you free to believe what you say?

      January 11, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • runs with acid

      sun bless america!
      (and in those nasty asteriods)

      January 11, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • skungatz

      Please don't talk (ie, post) anymore; you're making my head hurt.

      January 14, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Greg

    What "is right" standing up against this behavior by a hateful organization. My sincere condolences are with the folks that have been touched by this event. I think that the hateful intolerant speech must be toned down.

    January 11, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
  5. melissa

    @ tom...Christianity isn't a cult, sweetie. It's a full blown religion with millions of believers worldwide. Not all of us are "nuts" or "crazy," unfortunately, WBC gives the rest of us a bad name. The majority of us live peacefully, and pray for your salvation daily!

    January 11, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
  6. MPL

    We can only hope this starts a trend in the other 49.
    Phelps and his followers, make my skin crawl. But what does it say about the state of todays society that we have to pass a law to keep these nutjob's at bay?

    January 11, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
  7. More $ wins

    Sue them. Litigate this fringe church and its attorney's into poverty. A suit funded by a public majority across the country could absolutely financially bludgeon the pseudo-church into non existence.

    January 11, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • SM

      There is a supreme court case (Snyder v. Phelps) currently in the works, but the first amendment is making it a very puzzling one. Also, I read that the WBC spends about $200,000 per year traveling to their protest sights, so I get the feeling that it would take a lot to ruin them financially...

      January 12, 2011 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Maureen

    I agree they should not be allowed to protest at these funerals or any other funeral, because the
    deceased and their families should have rights, too. Even if it wasn't a law, groups or indiviiduals should not protest at a funeral out of respect for the families of the deceased. It is pretty scary and ironic that someone can condemn violence and then accept violence in the name of God to justify their own actions and the actions of others. They also must not recognize that the only reason they are able to be able to say what they feel is because of the the people that put their life on the line to protect the freedoms our country has- to be able to speak what you think and feel. Even so, we still need laws and limitations on how those feelings are conveyed to prevent chaos and disorder.

    January 11, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. washintoniangirl

    Thank goodness for some sense finally! Thank you for the piece that will bring.

    To further discuss the WBC:

    January 11, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Sadiehyde

    Please let us stop using terms like wacko, nutjob, crazy, insane, psycho- they are grossly pejorative terms for the mentally ill and it's very unfair to lump them in with the cruel and deliberately malicious and evil intentioned Westboro Baptist Church. The mentally ill have enough strikes against them without people thinking that people like WBC are similar to them. People with mental illness are almost without exception, just like me and you, except they are 2.5 times more likely to become VICTIMS of violence. Yes, they may act or say strange things. But they're certainly not anything like the deviants in the WBC.

    January 11, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • runs with acid

      watch what you say, they will SUE YOU!!!
      (they are everywhere)

      January 11, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  11. JanetMermaid

    This is a mistake. Not because I think there's anything good about Phelps and his ilk protesting at funerals, but because the primary source of income for he and his "church" is from lawsuits where their "freedom of speech" has been "infringed upon". Brewer just handed them another lawsuit on a platter.

    January 11, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Read_A_Law_Book_Once

    It's clear the first amendment needs some tweaking. NOBODY should be able to disrupt society to the degree that's being done now. Good people are generally quiet and keep to themselves while the excrement orifices are always loud and in everyone's faces. Many laws protect the unruly and they know that, so they will push everyone's buttons to illicit a response. I thought we had hate crime legislation in this country. Can't these demons be brought up on harassment or stalking charges? If we must preserve free speech then how about charging people with crimes that laws already protect against. Protesting a 9 year old's funeral is clearly the Devil trying to push some buttons, so let's start charging people with crimes. Most people want a civil society. Let's start giving it to them.

    January 11, 2011 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Read_A_Law_Book_Once

    @Holyroller: GW is an Evangelical. Not sure about Palin. Nice try though. You get points for injecting a non-issue into the discussion. Everything is Palin and Bush it seems with some people. I don't like them either but at least I can stick to the subject. I'm pretty sure God will deal with Dubya and Sarah Barracuda when they pass. My belief in "what goes around comes around" is the only thing I have to keep from hating half the people on this planet.

    January 12, 2011 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
  14. Bill Dance

    Religion breeds ignorance.

    January 12, 2011 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
    • freewords

      Is it not written, do not hate and do not judge. Are you in fear of dying and nobody will hear you? Neither God liked the ignorant, nor did the pagans know what they were doing.

      January 12, 2011 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
  15. PartisanSheep

    I think these people protest gays at every funeral. It wouldn't be a WBC protest without anti-gay propaganda. I'd laugh if it weren't so sad.

    January 12, 2011 at 12:42 am | Report abuse |
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