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Bedford Senator Gets Speedy Approval On Funeral Bill

Last updated on Monday, January 1, 2007

STATEHOUSE—A bill won unanimous approval by a Senate Committee on the second day after it was introduced.

Senator Brent Steele's bill bans disorderly conduct at funerals or memorial services and protests that must be restricted to 500 feet beyond the mourners.

The Kansas church protesters, which prompted the bill, are mostly children, grand-children, in-laws or related some way to the founder of a church the Rev. Fred Phelps put together.

The bill was written after professional protesters held signs and shouted remarks in Bedford at several local churches back on November 6th, those people appeared at the funeral and burial of 22-year-old Pvt. Jonathan R. Pfender in his hometown of Evansville.

They came to Bedford to protest State Senator Brent Steele's support of legislation that would prohibit them or anyone else from protesting at funerals.

Pvt. Pfender was killed on December 30th, 2005, in Iraq by an improvised explosive device during a patrol.

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