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Freedom to sagPosted Tuesday, April 22, 2008, at 2:58 PM
Should municipalities -- or states -- regulate clothing styles?
From the Associated Press:
"A state Senate panel rejected a bill on Tuesday that would make it a crime to wear one's pants too low, even as about a dozen Cajun-country towns around Louisiana have been banning saggy pants from their streets.
"Sen. Derrick Shepherd's bill would have made it illegal to wear, in public, clothing that 'intentionally exposes undergarments or intentionally exposes any portion of the pubic hair, cleft of the buttocks or genitals.'
Seems to me at some point the concept of freedom of speech -- read "freedom of expression" -- comes into play, although I'd agree the line should be clearly drawn to prevent individuals from exposing themselves.
Common sense would involve filing indecent exposure charges against those who show too much while leaving alone those who simply look droopy.
I'm in no way backing public indecency. But start with banning clothing styles and things can escalate to banning totally decent forms of expression just because lawmakers don't like them.
Frankly, when I think Louisiana -- especially rural Louisiana -- I think "racism" and wonder if that factors into the above-mentioned law. Hopefully I'm wrong.
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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.
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