KCMO Looking at New Funeral Protest Ban

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City, Missouri, City Council is looking at a plan to curb picketing at funerals within the city limits.

According to the Kansas City Star, the proposed ordinance will be identical to a Manchester, Missouri, ordinance that was deemed to be constitutional by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which found that the ordinance was narrowly written and allowed for other opportunities for protesters to express their views in other ways.

The Manchester ordinance was modeled after an Ohio law that a separate appeals court found constitutional in 2008.

The ordinance is aimed primarily at the Topeka-based Westboro Baptist Church, which has become known for protesting the funerals of fallen U.S. service members. The church claims that the deaths are divine retribution for America’s tolerance of homosexuality.

A previous funeral picketing ban in Kansas City was repealed in 2009 over concerns about its constitutionality. The new ordinance will be introduced on Thursday, and is expected to be heard by the council’s Public Safety Committee next week.

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