Judge Weighs Missouri Disturbing Worship Law

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ST. LOUIS (AP) – A federal judge will decide whether to issue a temporary injunction against Missouri’s new law making it a crime to disturb a worship service.

The law makes it a misdemeanor to intentionally disturb or interrupt a “house of worship” with profane language, rude or indecent behavior or noise that breaks the solemnity of the service.

American Civil Liberties Union attorney Anthony Rothert argued at a hearing Tuesday in St. Louis that the law is too vague and could apply to protests outside a church or other place of worship. But Andy Hirth, an attorney for the state, says the law would not apply unless protesters intentionally disrupt a service.

It isn’t clear when U.S. District Judge E. Richard Webber will issue a ruling on the injunction request.