Kudos to two Wichita-area lawmakers, Sens. Jean Schodorf and Carolyn McGinn, for introducing a bill that would impose a no-protest buffer zone around funeral services.
The measure, similar to funeral laws being proposed in several other states, would help sideline the ghoulish Phelps “church” of Topeka, whose members have been noisily picketing funerals and harassing grieving family members in scores of anti-gay protests around the country.
Although there are legitimate free speech rights involved, grieving families have privacy and worship rights, too. Many legal experts think that a buffer zone could pass constitutional muster if the distance requirement was reasonable. The Kansas bill would impose a 300-foot buffer, the length of a football field — far enough to shield family members from in-your-face protests, but not so far as to prevent protesters from exercising their speech rights.
Posted by Randy Scholfield
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