Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said that members of Westboro Baptist Church will be arrested if they attempt to protest the funerals of the two women killed in the movie theater shooting in Lafayette, Louisiana.
“If they come here to Louisiana, if they try to disrupt this funeral, we’re going to lock them up. We’re going to arrest them,” Jindal said. “They shouldn’t try that in Louisiana. We won’t abide by that here. Let these families grieve.”
John Houser shot 11 people in a Lafayette movie theater over a week ago, before shooting and killing himself. Two women, Mayci Breaux, 21, and Jillian Johnson, 33, were killed–and it’s their funerals that may be picketed.
Westboro Baptist Church–reviled by just about everyone on either side of the aisle–has made an infamous reputation for themselves with their high-profile picketing of funerals, including many for U.S. servicemen and women killed in combat.
The controversial church claims that American troops are killed because of American society’s embrace of “sin,” including the fight for gay rights.
While they have no formal plans to picket the funerals, they have posted a number of things on social media, hinting that they may.
Jindal intends to put his money where his mouth is when it comes to arresting the protesters. He issued an executive order to prohibit protesting at funerals or other memorial services. The order requires protesters to stay at least 300 feet away from all funerals, for a period of two hours before and two hours and the event.
The Americans Civil Liberties Union has criticized Jindal’s order, but Jindal refuses to back down–and, with the funerals coming shortly, it’s unlikely that any legal challenge will make it in time to overturn the executive order before the funerals.