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Walkersville creates larger buffer around funerals

WALKERSVILLE — A Maryland town is making it harder for groups like the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church to protest at funerals.

The town of Walkersville on Wednesday approved an ordinance that requires demonstrators to stay 1,000 feet away from funerals, burials and memorial services.

Maryland already has a 500-foot law that takes effect Oct. 1, but Walkersville’s buffer is now twice that size.

A lawsuit over Westboro Baptist Church’s protest of a Maryland man’s funeral went to the Supreme Court last year. The high court ruled that the church’s actions were protected by the Constitution.