SACRAMENTO (CBS/AP) — A bill authored by a state senator from Torrance to restrict how close protesters can get to funeral services and religious observances passed the California Senate on Wednesday.
The bill SB 888, introduced by Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), requires groups to stay 1,000 feet from a burial site, mortuary or place of worship.
Lieu said the legislation was in response to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in March that said protests by the Westboro Baptist Church are protected free speech.
Members of the Topeka, Kan.-based church group picket funerals, contending God is punishing the military for the
nation’s tolerance of homosexuality.
SB 888 makes it a misdemeanor to protest within the 1,000-foot perimeter for an hour before or after a funeral.
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