Scott Signs Law Expanding Ban On Funeral Protests

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CBSMiami) — Protesters carrying signs that read “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” and other spewing similar hatred will no longer be allowed near funerals.

Gov. Rick Scott has signed into law a bill that expands a current ban on protesting to all types of funerals.

The governor this week signed the “Funeral Buffer” bill (HB 15) that was approved by the Legislature last month.

The legislation was a response to military funeral protests by a Kansas-based church. The Westboro Baptist Church congregation claims God is punishing the United States for tolerating homosexuality. Protesters often carry signs saying “Thank God for Dead Soldiers.”

The new law prohibits protesting or picketing within 500 feet of any funeral or burial. The law applies from one hour before to one hour after the ceremony. A violation is a first-degree misdemeanor.

(TM and © 2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and © 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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