ST. LOUIS, Mo. (CN) – A week after winning a temporary reprieve from a state law aimed at curtailing funeral protests, a member of a gay-hating church has filed a new suit claiming that a city law violates her free speech rights. Shirley Phelps-Roper, of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., sued the City of Maplewood in Federal Court.
Phelps-Roper claims Maplewood’s law, which prohibits picketing at the place of a funeral from 90 minutes before until 90 minutes after the funeral, violates her First Amendment rights.
Westboro members have picketed hundreds or thousands of events, including the funerals of U.S. soldiers were killed in Iraq. The church claims the deaths stem from the wrath of God because of America’s acceptance of homosexuality.
Phelps-Roper wants Maplewood enjoined from enforcing its ordinance. She is represented by Anthony Rothert. Maplewood is 10 miles west of St. Louis.
Last week, Phelps-Roper won a temporary reprieve from a similar, statewide law when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Missouri’s appeal. A lower court ruled that Missouri could not enforce the law until Phelps-Roper’s lawsuit was settled. Missouri was attempting to appeal the ruling. A trial in that case could take place in July 2010.