The ACLU of Louisiana responded Sunday to Gov. Bobby Jindal’s executive order for law enforcement protection against protests at the funerals of the Lafayette theater shooting victims, calling the governor’s action “misguided” and “contradictory” with the potential to infringe on protesters’ rights.
Jindal issued the order Saturday after the controversial Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, announced plans to protest the funerals of the two women killed by a shooter at The Grand 16 Theatre in Lafayette Thursday night.
The ACLU said Jindal’s order protects the First Amendment rights of the victims’ families but, at the same time, denies those same rights to funeral protestors. The organization said the governor would better serve victims’ families and the law by allowing police to enforce the law as it is.
“Given Gov. Jindal’s stated concern for religious freedom — which would weigh in favor of the Westboro Baptist Church — he should be careful not to run afoul of the First Amendment in this or any other orders that he may issue,” the ACLU said in its statement.