Council Takes First Step With Funeral Protest Ordinance
Creve Coeur would be the latest community to pass legislation as a way of curbing protests by the ultra-conservative Westboro Baptist Church.
Creve Coeur City Council members gave first reading Monday to an ordinance which would outlaw protests knowingly taking place within 300 feet of "any residence, cemetery, funeral home, church, synagogue, or other establishment or location during or within one (1) hour before or one (1) hour after any actual funeral or burial service at that place."
Ward 2 Councilwoman Tara Nealey proposed the ordinance, after an appeals court upheld a similar law on the books in Manchester.
The bill chiefly targets protests by members of the Westboro (KS) Baptist Church, a church which has gained notoriety for protests of military funerals and school events, as signs of its stance against homosexuality.
Nealey said Monday the bill is not meant to replace the community-oriented organized counter-protests which spring up in many cases when word of a possible Westboro presence surfaces.
A second and final reading of the bill will likely come January 14. City Council members have called off plans for a second regular meeting in December due to the holiday but will hold a non-voting work session December 18.