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Kirkwood Considers Ban on Funeral Protests

The Kirkwood City Council will vote tonight on a bill that prohibits picketing within 300 feet of a memorial service.

The Kirkwood City Council will take its first vote tonight on a bill that outlaws funeral protests within 300 feet of a memorial service.

The bill is going before the council in light of an appellate court ruling that upheld a similar ordinance in Manchester. SEE:

Manchester Reacts to Court's Ruling in Westboro Funeral Protest Case

"According to the courts, it's a legitimate restriction on first amendment rights. I certainly agree with it, because I feel that this is a grieving time for many families," Mayor Art McDonnell said.

McDonnell said that Kirkwood was waiting for the ruling in the Manchester case before pursuing its own bill. 

"I'm glad the courts upheld Manchester's law. It protects the rights of people who are grieving but also protects the rights of those who want to protest," he said.

Under the proposed law, protestors could picket beyond 300 feet of a funeral service. Violators of the law could be fined $500-100 and/or face up to six months in jail.

Councilors will vote on the bill at their regular meeting at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers.

Gary December 20, 2012 at 05:14 PM
As a member of PGR I support the effort to allow families the space and privacy to greve. The Kirkwood community is no stranger to grief. I support the leadership of one of our oldest and respected townships in the St Louis area hope other communities ( like mine in WG ) follwo that excellent example.

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