2015 Missouri Revised Statutes
Chapter 574 Offenses Against Public Order
Section 574.035 Beginning January 1, 2017--Disrupting a house of worship--penalty.

MO Rev Stat § 574.035 (2015) What's This?

574.035. 1. This section shall be known and may be cited as the "House of Worship Protection Act".

2. For purposes of this section, "house of worship" means any church, synagogue, mosque, other building or structure, or public or private place used for religious worship, religious instruction, or other religious purpose.

3. A person commits the offense of disrupting a house of worship if such person:

(1) Intentionally and unreasonably disturbs, interrupts, or disquiets any house of worship by using profane discourse, rude or indecent behavior, or making noise either within the house of worship or so near it as to disturb the order and solemnity of the worship services; or

(2) Intentionally injures, intimidates, or interferes with or attempts to injure, intimidate, or interfere with any person lawfully exercising the right of religious freedom in or outside of a house of worship or seeking access to a house of worship, whether by force, threat, or physical obstruction.

4. The offense of disrupting a house of worship is a class B misdemeanor, unless it is a second offense, in which case it is a class A misdemeanor. Any third or subsequent offense of disrupting a house of worship is a class E felony.

(L. 2012 S.B. 755, A.L. 2014 S.B. 491)

Effective 1-01-17

(2013) Section making it a crime to intentionally and unreasonably disrupt a house of worship does not violate the First Amendment and is not unconstitutionally vague or overbroad. Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, Inc. v. Joyce, 941 F.Supp.2d 1078 (E.D.Mo.).

(2015) Prohibition on profane discourse and rude or indecent behavior in disrupting a worship service is content based; the statute is not narrowly tailored to serve compelling state interests and thus violates the First Amendment. Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests v. Joyce, 779 F.3d 785 (8th Cir.).

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