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$20 fines for swearing in public
wwe
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33 / F / where all my drea...
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Posted 6/12/12
Mass. town OKs $20 fines for swearing in public

http://news.yahoo.com/mass-town-oks-20-fines-swearing-public-033025166.html

MIDDLEBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Residents in Middleborough voted Monday night to make the foul-mouthed pay fines for swearing in public.

At a town meeting, residents voted 183-50 to approve a proposal from the police chief to impose a $20 fine on public profanity.

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.

[Related: Many teen books feature R-rated language]

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.

Another local merchant, Robert Saquet, described himself as "ambivalent" about the no-swearing proposal, likening it to try to enforce a ban on the seven dirty words of George Carlin, a nod to a famous sketch by the late comedian.

"In view of words commonly used in movies and cable TV, it's kind of hard to define exactly what is obscene," said Paquet, who owns a downtown furniture store.

But Duphily said, "I don't care what you do in private. It's in public what bothers me."
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26 / M
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Posted 6/12/12 , edited 6/12/12
I think that's complete garbage. Say what you will about profanity being bad, but the government shouldn't be allowed to tell me what I can and can't say, regardless of how loudly or where I say it, nor should I be fined any amount for it. It just sounds bogus and unnecessary to me.
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31 / M / California
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Posted 6/12/12
John Spartan. You are fined one credit for violation of the verbal morality code.

Name that movie.
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Posted 6/12/12
I"m sad that this headline is from the USA, the founders are spinning in their graves.

I also think that people should have the class not to scream obscenity in public, but from a cursory trip to town that seems to be too much to ask.

If individual businessmen and store-owners don't like it in their place of business they should utilize their right not to serve the offender and throw them off their private property.
Posted 6/12/12
Lol that's funny. They should bring that here, I'd like to see how people react since I hear many use profanity a lot almost daily.
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Posted 6/12/12
Demolition Man, ask a hard one :D.
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28 / M / Behind You
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Posted 6/12/12
I wonder how this works when it comes to music lyrics.
kvi 
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32 / M / Planet Mars
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Posted 6/12/12
In this case it looks like the residents pushed this not the government. Lots of cities in the US have public laws like this, they just are not enforced.
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30 / M / Gotham City
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Posted 6/12/12
Liberty, Freedom, and Right to Free Speech are only virtues if they fall in with what the people in power believe and say.

This is America.
Rajyrr 
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26 / M / Nova Scotia, Canada
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Posted 6/12/12
Police: "Stop right there criminal scum! Pay the court a fine or serve your sentence! Your stolen goods are now forfeit!"

Me: " .. One, I payed for this hamburger. Two, who are you to tell me this isn't a damn good hamburger?"

Police: "Then pay with your blood!" *aims pistol*

Me: O _ O *drops hamburger*
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(´◔౪◔)✂❤
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Posted 6/12/12
I would have been broke by now
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26 / M
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Posted 6/12/12

Rajyrr wrote:

Police: "Stop right there criminal scum! Pay the court a fine or serve your sentence! Your stolen goods are now forfeit!"

Me: " .. One, I payed for this hamburger. Two, who are you to tell me this isn't a damn good hamburger?"

Police: "Then pay with your blood!" *aims pistol*

Me: O _ O *drops hamburger*


Maybe you just need to take the Grey Cowl off?
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21 / M / Cananananada
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Posted 6/12/12 , edited 6/12/12
haha that sounds stupid

The only time swearing is bad is when its done around kids and teens/adults should know better to try and contain themselves around children


Rajyrr wrote:

Police: "Stop right there criminal scum! Pay the court a fine or serve your sentence! Your stolen goods are now forfeit!"

Me: " .. One, I payed for this hamburger. Two, who are you to tell me this isn't a damn good hamburger?"

Police: "Then pay with your blood!" *aims pistol*

Me: O _ O *drops hamburger*


I want to see this in an anime
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Posted 6/12/12
This will end up going to court and costs the City millions for violating freedom of speech.
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34 / F / Hangout with Gaara
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Posted 6/12/12
it a good thing its not near here the boys in my family would be 100% broke hahaha
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