Disrupting a House of Worship Could be Considered Crime in Future
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Disrupting a House of Worship Could be Considered Crime in Future

Date: February 20, 2012
By: Joe Chiodo
State Capitol Bureau
Links: SB 755

Intro: 
Sparked by past events around the nation, one Missouri senator is trying to make disrupting a house of worship punishable by up to 15 days in Jail and a three hundred dollar fine for first time offenders.
RunTime:  0:43
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: Profanity, indecent behavior, and unreasonable noise at a religious building would become punishable by law if a bill sponsored by Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer is approved.

Executive Director of the Missouri Family Policy Counsel, Joe Ortwerth, says the bill does not violate the first amendment.

Actuality:  WITNESS2.WAV
Run Time:  00:11
Description: "We would not, in any way, be attempting to suppress peoples' freedom of speech. Individuals would still have the right to picket outside of church if they so chose, to carry signs, to express their sentiments."

Mayer says the bill is a preventative measure partialy inspired by the Westboro Baptist Church.

The group tried to protest the funeral of the nine-year-old girl killed in the Tucson shooting last year.

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Joe Chiodo.

Intro: 
Violent disruption of a house of worship--be it a church, synagogue, or mosque--has one senator at the Missouri Capitol concerned and taking action.
RunTime:  0:47
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: An increase in violent disruption of religious worshiping brought Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer before a senate committee.

He says he is confident the committee will approve his bill making profanity, indecent behavior, and unreasonable noise at religious gatherings a crime by law.

First time offenders would face up to fifteen days in jail and a three hundred dollar fine. 

But Jefferson City Lawyer, Daniel Dodson, says he believes the bill needs revision.

Actuality:  DODSON.WAV
Run Time:  00:10
Description: "It's not fair to give a church any more protection than you know a meeting of the boy scouts or you know any political group or anything else."

 
Mayer says the bill is a preventative measure partially inspired by past religious protests by the Westboro Baptist Church.
 
 
Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Joe Chiodo
 

Intro: 
One senator at the Missouri capitol is proposing a preventative measure that would make it a crime to knowingly disturb a house of worship.
RunTime:  0:45
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: Profanity, indecent behavior, and unreasonable noise at a religious building would become punishable by law if a bill sponsored by Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer is approved.

Mayer says his proposal is sparked by the Westboro Baptist Church's attempted funeral protest of the nine-year-old girl killed in the Tucson shooting last year.

Actuality:  MAYERWOR.WAV
Run Time:  00:15
Description: "It is I mean we've seen instances where there has been people who have attempted to disrupt services and there are some things happening fairly close to church property and synagogue properties that cause me concern"

Mayer says the bill would not infringe citizen's freedom of speech.

Offenders would face misdemeanor charges punshible by jail time and fines.

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Joe Chiodo.


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