State Sen. Zeb Little, D-Cullman, is proposing legislation that will limit both the time and proximity that protests can be held at funerals in Alabama.

In a phone interview Wednesday, Little said that his intentions were in direct opposition the Rev. Fed Phelps, an anti-gay protester who gained notoriety by protesting at the funerals of fallen U.S. soldiers.

Reportedly, Phelps' protests are intended to strike out at the U.S. Armed Force for allowing gays into the military.

According to Little's bill, funerals should be off limits any form of protests.

The bill calls for restricting protests to a distance of no closer than 500 feet from a funeral or memorials service and bars protesting during certain periods before, during and after the service. It also calls for making it a crime to impede any funeral procession.

"I'd like to keep it from happening at all. I think it's just absolutely horrible that this is allowed to continue," Little said.

He said the bill is intended to limit but not "totally restrict" Alabamian's First Amendment, free speech rights.

Rep. Jeremy Oden, R-Vinemont, expressed support for Little's bill, calling it a tragedy that Phelp's actions were allowed to continue.

"To me it is also a freedom to be allowed to bury your loved ones in a dignified manner," he said. "I think as individuals and Americans we owe that to the people that give their lives for us."

You must be logged in to react.
Click any reaction to login.

Recommended for you