Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105

For Immediate Release: February 15, 2011

Sen. Josh Brecheen
Sen. Josh Brecheen

Sen. Brecheen Wins Approval for Bill Strengthening Oklahoma’s Funeral Picketing Law

State Sen. Josh Brecheen has won committee approval for legislation aimed at better shielding mourners of fallen soldiers from protestors. Senate Bill 406 was approved unanimously by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

Current law bans protestors from picketing funerals for an hour before and after the service. They’re also prohibited from picketing any closer than 500 feet of where the funeral is being held. Brecheen’s legislation increases the moratorium on picketing to two hours before or after a service and increases the distance to 1000 feet.

“I was contacted by constituents after protestors showed up at an Oklahoma military funeral last year,” said Brecheen, R-Coalgate. “By doubling the time prohibiting picketing, as well as the distance, we can better protect those individuals who are already in a state of emotional distress. Oklahomans should be allowed to mourn our fallen heroes in dignity.”

Members of the Westboro Baptist Church have protested at several military funerals throughout the country, including the funeral of Army Sgt. Jason James McCluskey of McAlester last November. The Kansas group claims the deaths of soldiers are God’s punishment for America’s tolerance of homosexuality.

SB 406 now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

For more information contact:
Sen. Brecheen: (405) 521-5586

Inon: Horizontal Blue Band

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