Lawmakers approve bill that prohibits protesters at funerals

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By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron

PHOENIX (AP) -- The Arizona Legislature has approved emergency legislation to head off picketing by a Topeka, Kan., church at the funeral service for a 9-year-old girl who was killed during Saturday's shooting in Tucson.

Unanimous votes by the House and Senate on Tuesday send the bill to Gov. Jan Brewer for her expected signature.

The bill prohibiting protests at or near funeral sites would take effect immediately.

The Westboro Baptist Church said Monday it plans to picket Thursday's funeral for Christina Taylor Green. She is one of six people who were killed in the shooting that injured U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 13 others.

The fundamentalist church has picketed military funerals to draw attention to its view that the deaths are God's punishment for the nation's tolerance of homosexuality.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

For more information on the group that plans to counter Westboro Funeral Protesters go to www.facebook.com/GGiffords#!/event.php.