Join Riverfront Times Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Federal Appeals Court Sides Against "God Hates Fags" Church On Law Limiting Funeral Protests

Posted By on Tue, Oct 16, 2012 at 1:34 PM

Federal judges have approved restrictions on these people who picket funerals. - IMAGE VIA
  • Image via
  • Federal judges have approved restrictions on these people who picket funerals.
Federal appeals judges in St. Louis ruled today that yes, in fact, the City of Manchester does have the right under the Constitution to restrict where and when certain folks -- meaning the hate-spewing death-cult, Westboro Baptist Church -- can picket funerals. 

(Who would want to picket a funeral? Oh, only Pastor Fred Phelps and his followers at Westboro, who believe that God punishes America's tolerance of homosexuality by killing U.S. citizens, such as soldiers and tornado victims.)





Back in 2007 -- reacting to Westboro's activities -- the City of Manchester passed an ordinance pushing any funeral protests 300 feet away from the ceremony, and one hour outside the beginning and end of the ceremony. 

The folks at Westboro sued, with the support of the ACLU of Eastern Missouri. They won at the US district level. But the municipality appealed, and today, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals took their side.

The judges concluded that the City of Manchester's restrictions were permissible under the First Amendment because they were content-neutral, narrowly tailored and served a significant government interest. 

Read the judges' opinion below.

The ACLU's Tony Rothert lamented the ruling, saying in a written statement that the City of Manchester's restrictions for burial services have never been recognized by the Supreme Court. 

If Westboro appeals, and SCOTUS grants cert, then we may find out what the robed justices in Washington really think. 

Read theappeals decision below. 
Phelps-Roper v. City of Manchester

Tags: ,

Riverfront Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of St. Louis and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep St. Louis' true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 23, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2020 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation