Heavy Law Enforcement Presence Planned for Soldier's Funeral

March 4, 2006 - Posted at 12:44 p.m. CST

ANDERSON, Mo. (AP) _ Extra law enforcement has been called in to

help at the funeral of a southwest Missouri soldier killed in Iraq.

The officers will be on hand today to enforce a new Missouri law

prompted by what Governor Blunt's office calls the ``absurd''

protests of military funerals by a Kansas church group.

Members of Topeka's Westboro Baptist Church have been picketing

services for soldiers killed in Iraq and elsewhere. The church says

the deaths are divine vengeance on the U-S for tolerating

homosexuality.

The church has pledged to be in Anderson for today's funeral for

Private First Class Christopher Marion, killed last week by a

roadside bomb in Iraq.

A new state law bars protests ``in front of or about'' the site

of a funeral, burial or memorial from one hour before until one

hour after the service.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)