Arizona Passes 'Funeral Protection Zones'

... so that the likes of the Westboro Baptist Church (a.k.a. "insensitive pricks") can't get too close:
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed emergency legislation Tuesday establishing “funeral protection zones” to keep protesters away from the memorial services for the victims of Saturday’s shooting in Tucson.

Earlier in the day, the Arizona Legislature passed the bill unanimously.

The measure - aimed at the Rev. Fred Phelps and other members of the Westboro Baptist Church who announced plans to picket outside the Thursday funeral of 9-year-old victim Christina-Taylor Green - won bipartisan support. It will take effect immediately.

“Such despicable acts of emotional terrorism will not be tolerated in the State of Arizona. This legislation will assure that the victims of Saturday’s tragic shooting in Tucson will be laid to rest in peace with the full dignity and respect that they deserve,” the Republican governor said in a statement.
But, it now appears that the WBC is letting up on their threats, at least somewhat:
In exchange for getting some radio time to air their controversial views, the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., has abandoned plans to picket 9-year-old Tucson shooting victim Christina Tayler Green's funeral.

Shirley Phelps-Roper of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka first told the Topeka Capital-Journal that church members will skip Green's Thursday funeral in Tucson.

Phelps-Roper says the church has been given airtime with 102.1 The Edge in Toronto, Canada, and an interview with KXXT-AM in Phoenix, Ariz. on Saturday morning.


Phelps-Roper says the group still will picket the Friday funeral of U.S. District Judge John Roll and at the intersection where Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and others were shot.
So, they will leave the 9-year-old girl's family to grieve in peace -- but not the Judge's. Ugh.

Photo: Dylan Slagle/Carroll County Times/AP photo