BOSTON (AP) – Attorney General Martha Coakley says Massachusetts will continue to enforce state law that keeps protesters at least 500 feet from a funeral despite last week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding the right of a Kansas church group to picket military funerals.

Coakley told The Boston Globe she will advise police to continue to enforce a 500-foot buffer zone around funerals to prevent disruptions. She says police have discretion in maintaining order and that the Massachusetts law strikes a balance between protesters’ free speech and the rights of military families.

The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that members of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., exercised their right to free speech when they picketed the Maryland funeral of a Marine killed in Iraq and carrying inflammatory messages such as, “Thank God for Dead Soldiers.”

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Comments (6)
  1. jaygee says:

    I don’t care what the Supreme Court says, these lunatics should not be allowed within a mile of a funeral. Someone, somewhere has got to do something so as to teach these “christians” that it isn’t healthy to continue such practices. I never liked the word vigilante but these hate-mongers deserve to have a serious hurt put upon them. And please, I don’t want to hear about their right to free speech.

  2. metoo says:

    Oh comon jaygee, they have the right to say what they want. But I think they should only be allowd to say it at the bottom of the ocean! lol

  3. karen s says:

    bravo martha! they have the right to their freedom of screech (which is what they do), let’s just let them flap their gums downwind of any and all town landfills). i attended a couple of military funerals where these wing nuts were.they are pitiful excuses for human beings. thankfully there are groups like the patriot riders, with whom i stood to separate the sect from kansas from honorable americans.let’s protect our honored dead and their families from the incursion from kansas, not just in massachusetts but everywhere!

  4. Cynic says:

    If the Cemetary is Private property and they are not there On Cemetary business,couldn’t they be Arrested for tresspassing?

  5. Jean says:

    I can’t believe that all these people do for a living is go around and harass people at their most vulnerable time. What a disgusting display of human vulgarity. May they all burn in hell.

  6. emom says:

    I say we go to their church with signs of hate and protest their religion.. speak of the unholyness that is surely not next to godyiness.. the words they speak is pure hate and maybe we should shower them with kindness and love,, is there a hari krisna in the house

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