Funeral taunts targeted in Maine bill

Posted Feb. 06, 2011, at 3:07 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine lawmakers are taking up a bill that seeks new restrictions on protests at funerals.

Rep. Michael Celli’s bill targets groups such as the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church, whose members routinely protest at military funerals, saying soldiers are killed because of the country’s tolerance of homosexuality.

Celli’s bill goes before the Criminal Justice and Public safety Committee at 10 a.m. Friday in Room 436 in the State House.

The Brewer Republican’s bill targets acts of disorderly conduct within 1,000 feet of a funeral, burial or memorial service, or within 1,000 feet of the route between locations where those ceremonies are being held. It also heightens the crime of disorderly conduct near a funeral, burial or memorial service from Class E to a Class D.

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