TALLAHASSEE, Fla. A new law that took effect Tuesday makes it illegal for protestors to picket any funeral. This is the first time such a law has been on the books – but not the first time Florida lawmakers have tried enacting it.
Earlier this year Florida State University graduate and Second Lieutenant Justin Sisson was killed in action during his second tour in the Middle East. Now a new law will make it illegal for protesters to picket any funeral.
Singe’ Thomas, 2nd Lt. Justin Sisson’s Friend, ”What’s it going to accomplish protesting someone that’s no longer with us?”
Sisson’s funeral was picketed in his home state of Kansas. The Sunflower state has A law similar to Florida’s new “Funeral Buffer Law”. ”As far as powering through, his friends and his family really came together.”
House Bill 15 was signed into law by Governor Rick Scott. The new law makes it illegal for people to protest within 500 feet of a funeral one hour before or after the ceremony.
Just to put things into perspective, I’m here at FSU’s football stadium. From here to the other side is roughly 500 feet. Meaning before I could protest in your face…and now, I have to stand all the way over here!
Lawmakers tried to pass a similar law in 2012. It failed, In large part because the bill specifically banned protests for specific groups. The new law includes anyone’s funeral. Supporters say the new law will make it easier for a family to grieve.
”I believe everyone deserves and has the right to a grieving process that does not include people screaming hateful obscenities.”
The Florida law went into effect October 1st.
Several states have enacted similar laws – most of them to try and limit Kansas-based Westboro Baptist church.