State House votes to ban funeral protests

Tuesday, February 21st 2006, 6:39 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) The state House passed legislation Tuesday that would ban boisterous protests at funerals.

Supporters of the bill say it, along with a similar measure passed last week by the state Senate, would prevent demonstrations at funerals of American soldiers killed in the line of duty.

Members of a Topeka, Kansas, church have protested at funerals of soldiers in Oklahoma and other states. The church claims the soldiers are being struck down by God for fighting for a country that harbors homosexuals.

A spokesman for the Disabled American Veterans says the protests defile the memory of soldiers who sacrifice their lives for their country.

The bill's author is Representative Paul Wesselhoft of Moore, who is a retired US Army chaplain. He dedicated the bill to the memory of Jared Hartley, Lance Michael Chase and John Doles, three Oklahoma soldiers who were killed in either Iraq or Afghanistan.