Funerals as a protected class?

by   |  05.17.06  |  Current Events

This from the Texas Legislature:

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today added the issue of funeral disruptions to the legislative agenda.

Sen. Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock, has filed Senate Bill 14, which would prohibit funeral protests from 500 feet of a service, beginning one hour before and ending one hour afterward.

The Senate Criminal Justice Committee unanimously passed the bill today. SB 14 will soon be considered on the Senate floor.

I guess if Hill v. Colorado, 530 U.S. 703 (2000), says protestors can be forced to stay 8 feet away from a person entering an abortion clinic and 100 feet away from the clinic’s entrance, then this is constitutional. This would seem content-specific and would require a compelling government interest, which isn’t there if you ask me. Of course, none of the Supreme Court did, and the six-member majority in Hill did not agree with me.

The photo is from a protest of soldier Amy Duerksen’s funeral at Temple Bible Church in Temple, Texas, on March 17. Free speech is an ugly thing.