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- Outhouse Editor
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http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/06/11/ma ... in-public/
Officials insist the proposal was not intended to censor casual or private conversations, but instead to crack down on loud, profanity-laden language used by teens and other young people in the downtown area and public parks.
I'm really happy about it," Mimi Duphily, a store owner and former town selectwoman, said after the vote. "I'm sure there's going to be some fallout, but I think what we did was necessary."
Duphily, who runs an auto parts store, is among the downtown merchants who wanted take a stand against the kind of swearing that can make customers uncomfortable.
"They'll sit on the bench and yell back and forth to each other with the foulest language. It's just so inappropriate," she said.
The measure could raise questions about First Amendment rights, but state law does allow towns to enforce local laws that give police the power to arrest anyone who "addresses another person with profane or obscene language" in a public place.
Matthew Segal, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, said the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the government cannot prohibit public speech just because it contains profanity.
The ordinance gives police discretion over whether to ticket someone if they believe the cursing ban has been violated.
Middleborough, a town of about 20,000 residents perhaps best known for its rich cranberry bogs, has had a bylaw against public profanity since 1968. But because that bylaw essentially makes cursing a crime, it has rarely if ever been enforced, officials said, because it simply would not merit the time and expense to pursue a case through the courts.
The ordinance would decriminalize public profanity, allowing police to write tickets as they would for a traffic violation. It would also decriminalize certain types of disorderly conduct, public drinking and marijuana use, and dumping snow on a roadway.
Segal praised Middleborough for reconsidering its bylaw against public profanity, but said fining people for it isn't much better.
"Police officers who never enforced the bylaw might be tempted to issue these fines, and people might end up getting fined for constitutionally protected speech," he said.
john lewis wrote:Everyone but GLX has no taste.
- Son of Stein
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- WTF is this rank?
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It'll only last until some of the law's supporters and the police themselves get caught cursing and start paying fines.
I'm no fan of profanity, either, but it seems iffy at best to serve people tickets for it.
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Note to self: Never go to Massachusetts.
- Outhouse Drafter
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Looks like I'll be staying the fuck out of goddamn Massachusetts.
Stephen Colbert wrote:Everybody knows I don't see race. People tell me I'm white and I believe them because I get pretty good service at the Cracker Barrel.
Ron Swanson wrote:You may have thought you heard me say I wanted a lot of bacon and eggs, but what I said was: Give me all the bacon and eggs you have.
- Review Grouper
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Dang! F*** that!
You don't have to like me
You don't have to respect me
But you will LISTEN to me.
- biny little tird
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My cousin lives in that town. He's going to be fucking pissed.
- Fisty McDigger
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If it's the loudness that's a problem, fine then for creating a public disturbance.
However, Liefeld is an enigma wrapped in a pouch-filled, muscular, footless conundrum.
Written or Contributed by ThanosCopter
- biny little tird
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This isn't a free speech thing...?
- YOU WILL NEED A NURSE
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Timbales wrote:If it's the loudness that's a problem, fine then for creating a public disturbance.
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