Mo. bill would make disturbing worship a crime
Friday, May 18, 2012
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Disturbing a worship service could become a crime in Missouri under legislation headed to Gov. Jay Nixon.
The House gave final approval Friday to a bill making it a misdemeanor to intentionally disturb or interrupt a "house of worship" with profanity, rude or indecent behavior or noise that breaks the solemnity of the service. The Senate passed the bill in March.
Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer has said he sponsored the legislation because of isolated incidents around the country in which people have disturbed worship services, though he did not cite any particular examples.
Violators could face fines of up to $500 and six months in jail. Repeat offenders would face increasingly harsher penalties of up to five years in state prison.
Worship bill is SB755.