Council To Vote On Funeral Picketing Ordinance | KCUR

Council To Vote On Funeral Picketing Ordinance

Nov 1, 2012

Updated Thursday, November 1. The Kansas City city council has unanimously passed an ordinance to restrict the Westboro Baptist Church's picketing of military funerals.

Westboro Baptist Chuch members display picket signs at a military funeral

The council's ordinance is identical to one an appeals court upheld two weeks ago.

City Attorney Bill Geary said the U.S. Supreme Court opened the door for the restrictions on funeral picketing with a statement it tacked on to a decision against a family that wanted to sue the church.

Geary explained: “And then the Supreme Court just said, either as an offhand remark or as an intentional hint (Who can guess?) that of course cities would have the right to regulate, properly, this activity.”

The ordinance will prohibit demonstrations within 300 feet of a funeral during or within an hour of the service. It can't prohibit demonstrations on public property along a funeral procession route.

All council members and the mayor have signed on as sponsors.