By: Matt Horn
October 2, 2013
A new law that took effect October 1st makes it illegal for protesters to picket any funeral. This is the first time such a law has been on the books – but not the first time 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.
”What’s it going to accomplish protesting someone that’s no longer with us,” asked Singe’ Thomas, Sisson’s friend.
Sisson’s funeral was picketed in his home state of Kansas. The Sunflower state has a law similar to Florida’s new “Funeral Buffer”.
”As far as powering through, his friends and his family really came together,” she said.
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.
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,” Thomas said.
The law went into effect October 1st.