Current law bans protestors from picketing funerals for an hour before and after the service. They’re also prohibited from picketing any closer than 500 feet of where the funeral is being held. Brecheen’s legislation increases the moratorium on picketing to two hours before or after a service and increases the distance to 1000 feet.
“I was contacted by constituents after protestors showed up at an Oklahoma military funeral last year,” Brecheen, R-Coalgate, said, in a news release. “By doubling the time prohibiting picketing, as well as the distance, we can better protect those individuals who are already in a state of emotional distress. Oklahomans should be allowed to mourn our fallen heroes in dignity.”
Members of the Westboro Baptist Church have protested at several military funerals throughout the country, including the funeral of Army Sgt. Jason James McCluskey of McAlester last November. The Kansas group claims the deaths of soldiers are God’s punishment for America’s tolerance of homosexuality.
SB 406 now moves to the full Senate for consideration.