Just saying that title alone in public could get you fined $20 in Middleborough, Massachusetts.
F-bombs and other curses across the streets of Middleborough, Massachusetts are now an offense punishable by a $20 ticket as of Monday night.
The bill which outlaws public swearing was approved by the town residents. This bill is the brainchild of Mimi DuPhily, a member of the town’s beautification committee.
She pushed for the law after becoming upset over loud swearing by teenagers hanging around the small town.
“We’re not talking about just conversation but screaming it across the street,” DuPhily, 63, a former Selectman, said in an interview on Tuesday.
“Dropping F-bombs and so on. It was the same group of kids. It was very irresponsible behavior, and it was getting out of hand.”
The bill does not specify which curses are banned though, and police can decide whether to ticket offenders.
“It does not affect you if you are sitting at a café,” said DuPhily.
Legal analysts said the law could raise issues for the town under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Part of the Bill of Rights, the amendment prohibits the making of any law that abridges freedom of speech, among other things.
DuPhily said her support for the law, which passed 183-50 at the meeting, has made her an object of ridicule in the media.
“The talk radio is making hysterical fun of me. They’re calling me the granny-nanny,” she said. “People didn’t know what to do. They felt uncomfortable walking down the street with their kids.”
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- Swearing Is A Punishable Offense in Middleborough, Nannychusetts (independentsentinel.com)
- Massachusetts Town’s Cursing Fine is Illegal, Says Judge Napolitano (foxnewsinsider.com)
- Massachusetts Town Issuing $20 Swearing Fines (inquisitr.com)