Appeals court says St. Louis suburb can restrict funeral protests

Tuesday, October 16, 2012 | 3:23 p.m. CDT; updated 7:02 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, October 16, 2012

ST. LOUIS — A federal appeals court has ruled that a St. Louis suburb can enforce a funeral protest ordinance aimed at preventing picketing by an anti-gay Kansas church.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling Tuesday reverses a previous ruling by a three-judge panel of the court. The panel ruling last year prohibited the St. Louis suburb of Manchester from enforcing the law it drafted in response to activities by members of Topeka, Kan.-based Westboro Baptist Church.

Members of the church frequently protest at funerals of soldiers, claiming the deaths are God's punishment for American immorality and tolerance of homosexuality and abortion.

American Civil Liberties Union attorney Tony Rothert represented Westboro member Shirley Phelps-Roper in the case and said a decision about whether to appeal will be made soon.


Like what you see here? Become a member.

Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.