Disrupting a church service could mean prison time under a proposal working its way through the state senate.
Sponsor Rob Mayer of Dexter says the bill does not target Kansas minister Fred Phelps, who is known for disrupting funeral services to promote his anti-gay positions, although the wording could apply to some of those demonstrations. The House of Worship Protection Act, it’s called, and it says a person commits a crime if that person intentionally and unreasonably disturbs a building used for religious purposes.
Fifteen or twenty years ago, he says, this bill would not have been unnecessary. But “in today’s age, we’re seeing people who just don’t have the respect for other people’s rights to worship.”
Cursing, rude or indecent behavior, or making noise inside a house of worship or outside so close as to disturb services could mean a county jail sentence the first two times and state prison the third time.
Another favorable vote will send the bill to the House.