Bill would set penalties for Miss. funeral protest

By The Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A top lawmaker says he’ll ask the Mississippi House to consider a bill setting penalties for protesting at funerals.

Judiciary B Committee Chairman Willie Bailey of Greenville says he knows there are possible constitutional problems about limiting free speech. But the Democrat says he supports the proposal because he’s upset by a group picketing military funerals.

The Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church also initially announced that it wanted to picket the funeral of one of the Arizona shooting victims, 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green. It backed off those plans.

The bill says funeral protests in Mississippi could be punished by up to a year in prison and a $5,000 fine.