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  • Atlanta considers ban on baggy pants

    ATLANTA - Baggy pants that show boxer shorts or thongs would be illegal under a proposed amendment to Atlanta's indecency laws. The amendment, sponsored by city councilman C.T. Martin, states that sagging pants are an "epidemic" that is becoming a "major concern" around the country.

    "Little children see it and want to adopt it, thinking it's the in thing," Martin said Wednesday. "I don't want young people thinking that half-dressing is the way to go. I want them to think about their future."

    The proposed ordinance would also bar women from showing the strap of a thong beneath their pants. They would also be prohibited from wearing jogging bras in public or show a bra strap, said Debbie Seagraves, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia.

    The proposed ordinance states that "the indecent exposure of his or her undergarments" would be unlawful in a public place. It would go in the same portion of the city code that outlaws sex in public and the exposure or fondling of genitals.

    The penalty would be a fine in an amount to be determined, Martin said.

    But Seagraves said any legislation that creates a dress code would not survive a court challenge. She said the law could not be enforced in a nondiscriminatory way because it targets something that came out of the black youth culture.

    "This is a racial profiling bill that promotes and establishes a framework for an additional type of racial profiling," Seagraves said.

    Martin, who is black, said he plans to hold public hearings and vet the proposal through churches, civil rights groups and neighborhood organizations. The proposal will get its first public airing next Tuesday in the City Council's Public Safety Committee.

    "The purpose of the paper is to generate some conversation to see if we can find a solution," Martin said. "It will be like all the discussions we've had around the value of the hip-hop culture. We know there are First Amendment issues ... and some will say I'm just trying to put young black men in jail, but it's going to be fines."

    Makeda Johnson, an Atlanta mother of a 14-year-old girl, said she is glad Martin introduced the proposal. She does not want to see a law against clothing, but said she thinks teenagers are sending a message with a way of dressing that is based in jailhouse behavior.

    Atlanta would not be the first city to take on sagging pants.

    Earlier this year, the town council in Delcambre, La., passed an ordinance that carries a fine of up to $500 or six months in jail for exposing underwear in public. Several other municipalities and parish governments in Louisiana have enacted similar laws in recent months.
    ___

    Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


    I thought Atlanta was a progressive not a regressive city. Seems like the city council should have better things to do. Guess they won't be promoting any nude activities any time soon.

  • #2
    You said it Michjoe! But the southern and midwestern regions have always been that way because they are primarily the "bible belt" area where conservatism and religiously convictions thrive strongly. Of course, you can always find some exceptions here and there.

    Ken Palmer


    Originally posted by Michjoe:
    ATLANTA - Baggy pants that show boxer shorts or thongs would be illegal under a proposed amendment to Atlanta's indecency laws. The amendment, sponsored by city councilman C.T. Martin, states that sagging pants are an "epidemic" that is becoming a "major concern" around the country.

    "Little children see it and want to adopt it, thinking it's the in thing," Martin said Wednesday. "I don't want young people thinking that half-dressing is the way to go. I want them to think about their future."

    The proposed ordinance would also bar women from showing the strap of a thong beneath their pants. They would also be prohibited from wearing jogging bras in public or show a bra strap, said Debbie Seagraves, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia.

    The proposed ordinance states that "the indecent exposure of his or her undergarments" would be unlawful in a public place. It would go in the same portion of the city code that outlaws sex in public and the exposure or fondling of genitals.

    The penalty would be a fine in an amount to be determined, Martin said.

    But Seagraves said any legislation that creates a dress code would not survive a court challenge. She said the law could not be enforced in a nondiscriminatory way because it targets something that came out of the black youth culture.

    "This is a racial profiling bill that promotes and establishes a framework for an additional type of racial profiling," Seagraves said.

    Martin, who is black, said he plans to hold public hearings and vet the proposal through churches, civil rights groups and neighborhood organizations. The proposal will get its first public airing next Tuesday in the City Council's Public Safety Committee.

    "The purpose of the paper is to generate some conversation to see if we can find a solution," Martin said. "It will be like all the discussions we've had around the value of the hip-hop culture. We know there are First Amendment issues ... and some will say I'm just trying to put young black men in jail, but it's going to be fines."

    Makeda Johnson, an Atlanta mother of a 14-year-old girl, said she is glad Martin introduced the proposal. She does not want to see a law against clothing, but said she thinks teenagers are sending a message with a way of dressing that is based in jailhouse behavior.

    Atlanta would not be the first city to take on sagging pants.

    Earlier this year, the town council in Delcambre, La., passed an ordinance that carries a fine of up to $500 or six months in jail for exposing underwear in public. Several other municipalities and parish governments in Louisiana have enacted similar laws in recent months.
    ___

    Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


    I thought Atlanta was a progressive not a regressive city. Seems like the city council should have better things to do. Guess they won't be promoting any nude activities any time soon.

    Comment


    • #3
      Could not agree more.

      Comment


      • #4
        I think it's a bit scary when a dress code is imposed on a society. While it's true that some people can get a bit extreme, and tacky, with their dress, this proposal isn't any different than the Taliban requiring women be fully covered.

        As for myself, I wear cargo shorts a lot, and they are a bit baggy, often exposing te elastic and top inch of my boxers. Who cares?? To think I could get arrested for it and be under the same law that forbids sex in public and the exposure or fondling of genitals, is like being arrested and branded a sexual offender for peeing out in the open along a desolate stretch of road.

        Doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

        Comment


        • #5
          Is another examle of the 'supposed to' society we live in. I could understand baggy shorts where they are used to hide a weapon strapped to the body at times, gang stuff, but otherwise there is no danger to public safety and that is the purpose of a law.

          If that law goes thru, what next? Mirrors being banned in the home?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Rabid_Clam:

            If that law goes thru, what next? Mirrors being banned in the home?
            Oh my god, you don't have mirrors in your home do you? That's so disgusting, I don't know how you can come on a nudist forum and admit to such depravity.

            Pete Knight

            Comment


            • #7
              I think this law would be unfair. Men would still be allowed to jog without a shirt while women are forced to wear a shirt over their sports bra. I don't think it's fair that women will have to put up with the heat b/c of a stupid law. It's very unfair. Why should women suffer in the heat while exercising?

              Comment


              • #8
                I don't think the previous poster was admitting the possession of mirrors.
                (There's one where I work, but it's facing way from the street - i.e. showing its backside to the outside world)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Last week, a member of the City Council of Trenton, NJ proposed a similar law. As in Atlanta, the response has been mixed. I suspect that the proposal will not get anywhere.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Every generation has its "dress code" but I am surprised that the baggy pants dress has lasted as long as it has. Normally, dress last about a decade and then the young people move on to something else but the baggy pants have been in for over a decade so I guess there isn't anything else out there that catches the younger generations fancy about dress.

                    I remember the horrors of my time when wearing faded jeans was a horrible no-no; bell bottoms, hip huggers (now called low-riders); tank tops came into existence and no self-respecting woman would wear such!!!! Shudders and horrors from the older generations when such came on the scene and Oh, those sacriligious Birkenstocks!!!! We called them Jesus Sandals and that was the ultimate desecration....Going braless, Oh the Horror!

                    Dress changes from generation to generation. Schools have always implemented dress codes of some sort or the other. Not a bad idea overall as there should be some decorum of what is and what isn't appropriate in a school setting. I have no problems with schools implementing certain and reasonable dress codes. However, I do oppose calling such dress indecent; i.e., any undergarments, jogging bras, etc. are not indecent. Perhaps inappropriate in a school setting or in the workplace, but not indecent.

                    And a city council discussing such issues? What a waste of taxpayers' money. School boards can set their own dress codes just like the workplace does. This is not a city council's responsibility.

                    I would imagine that this is an issue that will not get very far within the city council. There are bigger fish to fry in a city the size of Atlanta.





                    But times change as dress changes too!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MoonShadow:
                      I remember the horrors of my time when wearing faded jeans was a horrible no-no; bell bottoms, hip huggers (now called low-riders); tank tops came into existence and no self-respecting woman would wear such!!!! Shudders and horrors from the older generations when such came on the scene and Oh, those sacriligious Birkenstocks!!!! We called them Jesus Sandals and that was the ultimate desecration....Going braless, Oh the Horror!
                      You forgot to mention tube tops for women.

                      My mother got my older sister one time when she was wearing one. At the time I was about 15, so my sister would have been 29. We were just standing around talking and my mother asked her what she would do if her top ever slipped off. My sister said something to the effect that she didn't think that would ever happen, so my mother reached over and yanked her tube top down to her waist. Really caught me and my sister by total surprise. My sister didn't quite see the humor in it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Why does every petty annoyance these days have to result in a law banning it?

                        The worst of it is that our tax dollars will be wasted in enforcing these stupid laws.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          They won't have to worry about my underwear showing because most of the time I don't wear any in the summer. I think that the baggy and long shorts would be hard enough to deal with without having then pulled down far enough to interfere with walking. I prefer some really short running shorts and a tank top.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            First, I wish to make a minor point. City councils in Georgia can't pass laws. They pass ordinances. The difference is that only the Georgia Legislature can pass laws.

                            Secondly, this is one city councilman voicing an idea. So far, it only reflects his opinion.

                            Every city in every part of the country has city councilmen who express odd ideas from time to time. I would not jump to the conclusion this is a southern issue. After all, another poster said that Trenton, NJ has a city councilman who has proposed the same thing.

                            I agree with Moonshadow that this should be addressed by the schools and not by the city council. However, the City of Atlanta has what Georgia calls an independent school system run by the city. When I heard the city councilman with the idea, it sounded like he may have been attempting to address the issue at the request of the school officials.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I know something similar recently passed in Louisiana. I don't like dress codes, but personally this doesn't bother me. Sagging pants are normally associated with hoodlums. From what I understand, Atlanta is a predomanitly black city. Many in the black communicity are trying to change certain negative aspects of the culture. Style of dress being one of them.

                              As a recent graduate of an historically black college, I have dealt with sagging pants on a daily basis. I think that when you buckle your pants and their still down near your thigh or knee, you might as well not wear pants to begin with.

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