Senator Mary Easley
Senate District 18
Mayes, Tulsa and Wagoner counties
For Immediate Release: March 2, 2006
Sen. Mary Easley
Easley Lauds House for Passing Picketing Measure
Easley (D-Tulsa), vice-chair of the Senate Energy
and Environment Committee expressed her appreciation
Thursday that her funeral picketing bill was approved
by the House and will now go before Gov. Brad Henry
to sign into law.
Senate Bill 1020, known as the “Oklahoma Funeral
Picketing Act” would make it a misdemeanor to
picket within 500 feet of a cemetery, mortuary or church
from one hour before the scheduled commencement of funeral
services until one hour after the actual completion
of the funeral services.
If the bill is signed by the governor, it will go into
Easley said the House approval of her bill comes as
a critical time as a funeral is scheduled for Saturday
in Guymon for a soldier who was killed in Iraq.
A group from Topeka, Kan. which has recently protested
funerals of other soldiers killed in action, had announced
plans to protest the funeral in Guymon.
“I’m so glad that the House decided to fast
track my bill and get to the governor for his signature,”
said Easley (D-Tulsa). “I have received many calls
from constituents who wanted to see something done to
stop these protestors from disrupting funerals.”
If convicted, a person could be punished by a fine of
not more than $500, by imprisonment in the county jail
not more than 30 days, or by both a fine and imprisonment.
Additionally, a district court could award damages,
including punitive damages, attorney fees or other appropriate
relief against the persons found guilty of the crime.
Ronnie Felts, manager of Floral Haven Funeral Home in
Broken Arrow says he supports Easley’s bill and
was pleased to see the House approve it. Felts said
that Kansas group has come to Broken Arrow to protest
several funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq.
“I’m very happy to hear that the House passed
it,” Felts said. “That makes my whole day.
“This is something that is long overdue and needed
to be accomplished.”
Easley said her bill sends a strong message that protesting
at funerals won’t be tolerated.
“Funerals are a time for families to remember
their loved ones,” Easley said. “They shouldn’t
have to put up with groups who use funerals as a vehicle
to bring attention to their causes.”
more information contact:
Senator Easley's Office - (405) 521-5590