Missouri judge temporarily stops funeral protest law

Tuesday, April 14, 2009 | 9:32 p.m. CDT; updated 9:09 a.m. CST, Thursday, March 3, 2011

KANSAS CITY — The Kansas City suburb of Gladstone temporarily has been barred from enforcing a funeral protest ordinance.

The Kansas City Star is reporting on its Web site that a Kansas City federal judge issued the ruling Tuesday.

Shirley L. Phelps-Roper of the Westboro Baptist Church requested the order pending a ruling on the constitutionality of the city's ordinance that prohibits protests at soldiers' funerals.

The Topeka, Kan., church has protested at military funerals nationwide because it believes U.S. troop deaths are punishment for the nation's tolerance of homosexuality.

Legal challenges also have been filed over a similar Missouri law as well as funeral protest ordinances in St. Joseph and Smithville. But the Smithville suit was dropped last month when the city repealed its funeral picketing ordinance.


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