Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Legislators release bipartisan statement on funeral protest bill

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Today, the Arizona Legislature passed and sent to the Governor legislation which creates a 300 foot barrier between picketers and any location where a funeral or burial service is held. Any person who violates the legislation is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

“Today we have joined together to provide some small measure of comfort for families grieving over the loss of a loved one,” said Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-15. “During times of grief, families should be free from harassment or intimidation. This law does the right thing by protecting those families.”

SB 1101, sponsored by Sen. Sinema, was passed in one day with an emergency clause, which makes it effective immediately upon signature of the Governor.

“This is an important moment for Arizona and our nation as we come together to do what is right during a time of grief and mourning,” said House Speaker Kirk Adams, sponsor of the House bill. “Protesting or picketing outside the funeral of an innocent victim is despicable. It's time to bring Arizona in line with the many other states that protect the sensitivities of victims against groups that use fear and hate to denigrate the lives of Americans.”

The Senate version of the legislation is located online at:
http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/50leg/1r/bills/sb1101p.pdf

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