Kansas City Council Readies To Vote Funeral Picketing Ban

Nov 1, 2012

The Kansas City council will vote Thursday on an ordinance to restrict the Westboro Baptist Church's picketing of military funerals.

The council's ordinance is identical to one an appeals court upheld two weeks ago. City Attorney Bill Geary said the US 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.

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

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.