Wednesday, September 8, 2010

No more pants on the ground in Dublin, Ga.

Posted By on Wed, Sep 8, 2010 at 12:11 PM

Just one month after a Bronx judge tossed out a summons issued to a man for wearing saggy pants, the mayor of Dublin, Ga. has passed a baggy pants ban into law.

  • Susan Sermoneta

The New York judge ruled in late July that wearing low-slung pants might be considered "distasteful" and "foolish," but that doesn't make it illegal. He wrote: "People can dress as they please, wear anything, so long as they do not offend public order and decency...the Constitution still leaves some opportunity for people to be foolish if they so desire."

But Dublin mayor Phil Best disagrees. He says it's a matter of mutual respect, and, on Tuesday, Best signed an amendment to the municipality's indecent exposure ordinance prohibiting the wearing of pants or skirts "more than three inches below the top of the hips exposing the skin or undergarments." Exposure due to baggy clothing in now in the same category as masturbation, fornication and urination in public places.

And those caught with their "pants on the ground" won't just have to pull them up... they'll have to pay up, too. Violators could face fines up to $200.

Best says the ban is in part a response to the community's frustrations with the trend: "We've gotten several complaints from citizens saying the folks with britches down below their buttocks was offensive, and wasn't there something we could do about it."

Dublin residents are largely divided on the law. Some support the crackdown and believe the saggy style is disrespectful, but critics say people have a right to dress the way they want. Others claim the law singles out a specific group of citizens - young, black men - and fear it will lead to racial profiling by authorities.

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