Manchester’s Funeral Protest Ban Will Stand

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — The deadline has passed for Westboro Baptist Church to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to take a look at a law limiting funeral protests in Manchester, Missouri.

The law was upheld in October by the 8th U.S.Circuit Court of Appeals, and the 90 day time to appeal to the Supreme Court has now expired.

“You can’t undertake to disrupt a funeral. To sort of intentionally protest at the funeral for an hour before and an hour after the service, including both the funeral and the burial, and then there is a 300 foot privacy buffer,” explained Manchester City Attorney Evan Reid.

“It’s design to protect opportunities for free speech while providing some protection for the mourners who are attending these funerals.”

According to Reid this is the second time that this same language has been challenged by the Westboro Baptist Church. One time in Ohio and now here, and in both cases the church did not ask the supreme court to intervene.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which represented the Westboro Baptist Church, issued a statement saying they don’t have any plans to appeal.

Another St. Louis-area town has passed a similar ordinance.

The Creve Coeur City Council on Monday unanimously passed a measure banning picketing within 300 feet of a space where a funeral or burial service is taking place. The ban is in place during the service, along with one hour before and after.

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