Rep. Hatcher advances protections for grieving families during funeral services

By on April 9, 2011

Springfield—State Rep. Kay Hatcher advanced legislation last week protecting grieving families from protests and other disrespectful conduct during funeral services for a loved one.

Hatcher (R-Yorkville) won overwhelming House approval of House Bill 180, which prohibits disorderly conduct near a funeral site while a funeral or memorial service is being conducted.

“This is a simple issue of respect and consideration owed to families saying goodbye to a loved one,” Hatcher said.

Hatcher’s legislation was inspired by hurtful protests at funeral services for fallen soldiers. It prohibits protests and disorderly conduct within 1,000 feet of a funeral site (currently 200 feet) and also prohibits protests from 60 minutes before the funeral begins to 60 minutes after the service ends (currently 30 minutes).

“A student from Northern Illinois University came to me with the realization that the current guidelines for conduct during funerals are just not adequate to ensure families can say goodbye in peace,” Hatcher said. “Our new restrictions won’t eliminate anyone’s freedom of speech rights, but they will help protect grieving families from having to unnecessarily endure additional stress and pain.”

Having passed the House, House Bill 180 now advances to the Senate for further consideration.


  1. RM

    April 9, 2011 at 9:20 AM

    The Supreme Court already ruled on this. The behavior is abhorrent but legal. Why waste time on legislation that is unenforceable? Please work on the budget. That’s why you’re in office.

  2. panetollsurn

    April 9, 2011 at 7:53 PM

    It is really a sad state of humanity that this happens. It is even worse that our elected officials have to waste time creating laws for it. As long as they are going to waste my tax dollars on this sort of thing, can they please have people take a test or something before they have kids and sterilize the one that fail so that eventually this kind of nonsense will end.