JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- A federal judge has upheld a Missouri law requiring protesters to stay at least a football-field length away from funeral sites, beginning an hour before they start until an hour after the services end.
The ruling by U.S. District Judge Fernando Gaitan Jr. caps a nearly eight-year legal fight over Missouri's funeral protest restrictions that were prompted after members of a Kansas church opposed to homosexuality protested at the funeral of a Missouri solider who had been killed in Iraq.
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster said the law is now in effect.
"No parent who has lost a child should be confronted by the hate and intolerance of strangers, and today's ruling means parents and other loved ones will have a protective boundary from protesters," Koster said Tuesday in a written statement.
Gaitan's ruling was dated Monday.
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