State Capitol News
4:07 pm
Tue January 11, 2011

Lawmakers Moving to Keep Protesters Away From Funerals of Shooting Victims

Phoenix, AZ – The move comes as members of the Westboro Baptist Church -- the
people who carry the signs that say God Hates Fags -- are
planning to picket. The first of two teams will be in Tucson on
Thursday when the first of the victims is buried, 9-year-old
Christina Green. The legislation would keep all protestors at
least 300 feet away. House Speaker Kirk Adams acknowledged that
enacting a law in one day is unprecedented.

(But we have this vile group coming to protest the funeral of a
9-year-old girl who was just gunned down, claiming that she
deserved to die. It's disgusting. It's despicable. And we're
going to ensure that the family at least could have some peace
for a couple of hours while they bury their daughter.)

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema said nothing in the law violates the
constitutional rights of protesters.

(The First Amendment says no one shall abridge the right of
others to peaceably assemble or to have freedom of speech. And
this bill does not stop them from assembling or speaking freely.
It simply regulates the time and the place that they can do so,
which has been done in our country for many years.)

An aide to Gov. Jan Brewer said she will sign the bill when it
reaches her desk later today. For Arizona Public Radio this is
Howard Fischer.