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Judge to hear arguments in church protest lawsuit

5:05 AM, Sep 11, 2012   |    comments
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ST. LOUIS (AP) - A federal judge will hear arguments Tuesday in a lawsuit over Missouri's new law making it a crime to disturb a worship service.

Attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union are seeking a temporary injunction to block the law that took effect last month.

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.

Violators could face up to six months in jail and a $500 fine. Repeat offenders could get up to five years in prison.

The lawsuit was brought by two individuals and two groups that picket outside churches over allegations of sexual abuse of children by clergy.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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