Report: Westboro Baptist Won't Protest At Funeral Of 9-Year-Old

January 12, 2011

Mark Memmott

Just in from Topeka's Capital-Journal:

"Topeka's Westboro Baptist Church won't picket the funeral of a 9-year-old girl killed in Saturday's shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz., in exchange for getting airtime on two radio stations, a church spokeswoman said Wednesday morning."

But the tiny, controversial church that stages protests outside funerals of soldiers and others to spread its anti-abortion message, is going ahead with plans to be outside Friday's funeral of federal Judge John Roll, another of the six people killed on Saturday.

As we reported yesterday, word of Westboro Baptist's plans sparked outrage in Arizona and a national outpouring of calls to shield mourners from any such protests. Local lawmakers quickly passed legislation aimed at keeping any protesters well away from mourners.

According to the Topeka newspaper, "radio stations in Phoenix and Toronto, Ontario, Canada, offered to give the Topeka church airtime to discuss its views in exchange for its members not picketing the girl's funeral." Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.