HCS/HBs 276, 233 & 274 - This act modifies criminal provisions regarding funeral protests. The act specifies that the purpose of these statutes is to protect the privacy of grieving families and to preserve the peaceful character of cemeteries, mortuaries, churches, and other places of worship during funerals while providing picketers and protestors the opportunity to communicate their message. Provisions that limit picketing or engaging in other protest activities in front of or about any location at which a funeral is held, or within three hundred feet of or about any location at which a funeral is held, are modified, so that protest activities are only limited within five hundred feet of a cemetery, mortuary, church or other place of worship. The act also modifies the time restrictions on funeral protests and eliminates restrictions on protesting at funeral processions.
The act also eliminates the requirement that a person who seeks damages for emotional distress prove that there is a physical manifestation of their distress, if the lawsuit is brought for actions that violate the criminal funeral protest provisions.