California Bill Limiting Funeral Protests Approved by State Assembly

A bill to keep protesters 1,000 feet away from funerals has been unanimously approved by the California Assembly.

The bill will go to Gov. Jerry Brown for his signature after minor amendments in the Senate.

Lawmakers on Thursday approved the bill 72-0. The state Senate also gave nearly unanimous backing in June.

The bill by Sen. Ted Lieu responds to a series of protests by the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church. The group has picketed military funerals and contends the deaths reflect God's punishment for tolerating homosexuality.

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling in March upheld their right to protest. Lieu, a Torrance Democrat and U.S. Air Force veteran, tailored the restrictions in his bill to fit within the Supreme Court ruling.

The bill makes it a misdemeanor to protest within 1,000 feet of a funeral.