Yesterday, the Arizona State Legislature passed legislation to ban protestors from coming within 300 feet of the funeral services of the victims of the Tucson shootings. Governor Jan Brewer signed the bill that day.
The bill was proposed in response to the Westboro Baptist Church’s announcement of its plans to picket the funeral of nine-year-old Christina Green because Christina and her family were Roman Catholic. The group posted fliers on its website stating, “God hates Catholics” and “God Sent the Shooter.”
Although the church has since decided to forgo Green’s funeral, Shirley Phelps-Roper, a member of the church, clarified that members still intend to picket the funeral of Judge John Roll. Westboro Baptist Church, founded by Reverend Fred Phelps, is known for its fierce anti-gay rhetoric and hate speech.
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi are scheduled to attend a memorial service for the six victims at the University of Arizona today. Services for Christina Green and US Judge Roll will be held Thursday and Friday.