House of Worship Protection Act

Missouri Laws
1:58 pm
Mon August 27, 2012

Which new Mo. laws take effect tomorrow?

The Missouri Capitol Building in Jefferson City, Mo.
(St. Louis Public Radio/Marshall Griffin)

Several new laws will take effect in Missouri tomorrow, including one that’s being challenged in federal court.

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Religion/Law
5:50 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

New Mo. law on disturbing worship challenged with ACLU lawsuit

Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. Under a new Missouri law, it is a misdemeanor to intentionally disrupt a house of worship. The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit challenging the law.
(via Flickr/kat93117)

A federal lawsuit is seeking to block a new Missouri law making it a crime to disturb a worship service.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday by attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union claims the law is illegally vague and will infringe on free-speech rights guaranteed by the U.S. and Missouri constitutions.

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Bills Signed into Law
2:19 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

Intentionally disturbing worship service now a crime in Mo., other laws signed

Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. Under a new Missouri law, it is a misdemeanor to intentionally disrupt a house of worship.
(via Flickr/kat93117)

Gov. Jay Nixon has signed into law more than two dozen bills covering a variety of topics, including disturbances of worship services, workers' compensation and child care providers.

The governor's office announced the bill signings Tuesday. One measure makes it a misdemeanor to intentionally disrupt or interrupt a worship service with profanity, noise or indecent behavior. Violators could face fines of up to $500 and six months in jail.

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House of Worship Protection Act
7:11 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

Bill sent to Gov. Nixon would criminalize disturbance of worship services in Mo.

A house of worship in Jefferson City, Mo.
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Among the 115 bills sent to Governor Jay Nixon (D) this year is one that would make it a crime to deliberately disturb worship services in Missouri.

The measure would make it a misdemeanor to use, “profane discourse, rude or indecent behavior,” or make loud disruptive noises within or just outside a public or private building where a worship service is being held.  It was sponsored by Senate President Pro-tem Rob Mayer (R, Dexter).

“It’s important for citizens here in Missouri to have their First Amendment rights protected," Mayer said.  "There (have) been instances across the country where there have been actual disturbances in churches and synagogues.”

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