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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20150&cosponId=20367
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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: June 8, 2016 10:49 AM
From: Representative Marcy Toepel
To: All House members
Subject: Toepel- Funeral Protest Legislation Former HB 646
 
In the near future, Representatives Milne and Toepel will be re-introducing funeral protest legislation. As you are surely aware, the issue of protests at funerals became headline news once again in light of the shooting of Congresswoman Giffords in Arizona back in January. Families and loved ones, already dealing with the horrific tragedy of losing someone close to them, should not have to endure further grief and discomfort from those whom do not respect a funeral’s place and role as time when individuals should be able to pay their last respects in peace.

This is why we believe that current law must be strengthened in order to protect the families and loved ones suffering through a grieving process. We will be offering a two bill package in order to accomplish this objective. Under current law, individuals commit a third degree misdemeanor[1] if they engage in demonstration activities within 500 feet of any cemetery, mortuary, church or other location being utilized for the purposes of a commemorative service within one hour prior to, during and one hour following the commemorative service.

My legislation will change the grading of a violation of this statute from a third degree misdemeanor to a second degree misdemeanor[2]. Representative Milne's legislation will increase the distance that the demonstrators must remain from 500 feet to 1000 feet of any cemetery, mortuary, church or other location being utilized for the purposes of a commemorative service.

We would welcome your partnership in advancing this legislation.

Former Co-sponsors for HB 646 are: MILNE, GINGRICH, O'BRIEN, MICOZZIE, KAUFFMAN, K. BOYLE, B. BOYLE, CAUSER, D. COSTA, M. K. KELLER, BOBACK, BAKER, HESS, C. HARRIS, O'NEILL, SWANGER, FLECK, MAJOR, KORTZ, SABATINA, CUTLER, MILLARD, BIZZARRO, BENNINGHOFF, COHEN, HAHN, MOUL, HICKERNELL, MUNDY, PETRI, WATSON, GROVE, ROCK, MILLER, MURT, SAINATO, GABLER, PEIFER, FREEMAN, GOODMAN AND FARRY



Introduced as HB2209