In the wake of the Jan. 8 shootings in Tucson, the Arizona state legislature has passed emergency legislation to prevent the Westboro Baptist Church from picketing victims' funerals, including that of 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green. The church's leader, Fred Phelps, has posted a video in which he thanks God for the Tucson gunman, calling Loughner a "soldier hero" for God. The law, based on one passed in Ohio in 2006, prohibits any group from protesting within 300 feet of a funeral. The ban applies one hour before the funeral, during the funeral, and for one hour after the funeral. Breaking it is punishable by fines and possible jail time.
With news of the law's passing, several Arizona radio stations offered the church airtime to discuss its members' views in exchange for not protesting the funerals. The church has accepted the offers. The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation has slammed the stations for giving the church airtime, saying that doing so is the equivalent of negotiating with terrorists, and that "Westboro is being incentivized by being provided with an outlet to broadcast their hate to thousands of others." Even talk-show host Mike Gallagher, whose show reaches an estimated 10 million listeners, says he doesn't like giving the church the satisfaction of getting time on the air.