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Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation restricting protests at military and other funerals, after vetoing a similar bill last year, his office said this afternoon.

Senate Bill 661, by Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, prohibits picketing a funeral within 300 feet of a burial or memorial site beginning one hour before a funeral and ending one hour after.

The law is in response to protests of military funerals by members of the Westboro Baptist Church, known for its anti-Semitic and anti-gay views.

"Since time immemorial, society has respected the dignity and sacredness of putting the dead to rest," Lieu said in a prepared statement. "This bill recognizes the sanctity of funerals by placing reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions on disruptive protestors."

In vetoing a similar bill last year, Brown said he was "very tempted to sign it," but was concerned the bill's language failed to comply with a 2011 Supreme Court decision. Lieu's office said changes made to the bill this year, including reducing the size of the no-protest zone, addressed the Democratic governor's concerns.



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