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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: December 7, 2018 02:58 PM
From: Senator Patrick J. Stefano
To: All Senate members
Subject: Prohibiting Funeral Protests
In the near future, I plan to re-introduce legislation that will prohibit picketing and protesting at funerals in order to allow for peaceful and private mourning of the deceased.

During a funeral, which is often the height of the grieving for family, is no time for political stunts or messaging such as protesting. I believe that this time period should be respected, and that the rights of families to privately mourn in peace should not be intruded on.

It is not, however, my intent to fully inhibit expressions of free speech of others. For this reason, my proposed legislation will prohibit protesting at a funeral beginning one (1) hour before the funeral, and through the funeral, as well as for up to one (1) hour from the commencement of the funeral.

It is my aspiration to introduce legislation which will protect the right to mourn in peace during funeral proceedings, while minimizing the suppression of the right to protest.

This legislation was formerly Senate Bill 1086 from the 2017-18 Legislative Session and was co-sponsored by Senators Bartolotta, Rafferty, Ward, and Vulakovich.

I sincerely hope that you will consider joining me in co-sponsoring this legislation. If you have any questions regarding this information, please contact Jake Gery in my office at jgery@pasen.gov.

Introduced as SB535