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New Oklahoma Law Restricts Funeral Protests

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Rebekah Phelps-Roper, of Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., holds up signs and demonstrates near the Tennessee Capitol as a tour group enters the building in Nashville, Tenn., Tuesday, April 11, 2006. Rebekah Phelps-Roper, of Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., holds up signs and demonstrates near the Tennessee Capitol as a tour group enters the building in Nashville, Tenn., Tuesday, April 11, 2006.

NewsOn6.com

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed a bill into law Monday that adds restrictions to funeral protests.

Under Senate Bill 406, protests would not be allowed two hours before or after a funeral. Protests would also not be allowed to take place within 1,000 feet of a funeral. Under the previous law, protests were allowed to take place within 500 feet.

"Protesting a funeral for political purposes is an abhorrent and disgusting practice," Fallin said. "While such distasteful protests have been ruled constitutionally protected and cannot be legally prohibited, this legislation will help protect grieving families from people who are looking to exploit their suffering."

The bill was authored by Senator Josh Brecheen of Coalgate and Representative Dustin Roberts of Durant.

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