NC lawmakers approve tougher funeral protest rules

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by Associated Press

WCNC.com

Posted on February 27, 2013 at 6:40 PM

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Higher proposed criminal penalties for people who disrupt North Carolina funerals or memorial services are heading to Gov. Pat McCrory's desk for his signature. 

The General Assembly gave final approval Wednesday to a measure that is in response to an anti-gay Kansas church picketing military funerals nationwide. The Senate passed it unanimously, two weeks after the House did by a similar margin. 

The measure requires protesters to stay farther away from mourners and for a longer period of time before and after funeral events than current law. Violations would result in a higher grade misdemeanor and a felony on a second offense. 

Members of the Kansas church often hold protests at soldiers' funerals, claiming the deaths are God's punishment for American immorality and tolerance of homosexuality and abortion.
 

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