Winter Park Commissioners slated to vote on picketing ordinance

Planned Parenthood CEO picketed at her home


WINTER PARK, Fla. – Winter Park City commissioners will be voting on the final reading of an ordinance designed to "promote public peace" in residential neighborhoods.

The ordinance would make it illegal to picket within 50 feet of a persons home.

"They're welcome to state their opinion in any public forum, but not outside your home. You should be able to be there and not be harassed," said Eric Hawley, a Winter Park resident.

The ordinance, which makes picketing targeted at specific homes a misdemeanor, is up for a final vote Monday night.

City commissioners passed the ordinance, 4-to-1 earlier this month.

"Your home is supposed to be your safe haven, the place you feel safe and protected," said Clarissa Howard, city spokesperson.

At least one Winter Park resident didn't feel safe last month.

"I think it's always inappropriate, to use bullying as a strategy," said Jenna Tosh, CEO Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando.

Tosh's home was picketed by a group of anti-abortion rights activists.

The group posted a video of their protest on their website, calling the city's ordinance a violation of free speech.

Some neighbors said protests can quickly spiral out of control.

"People have been bombed, shot and killed, I mean, you just don't, that sort of thing is unacceptable as a society is concerned," said Hawley.