The town of Terrebonne Parish, La., passed a law that will make baggy pants illegal. Any citizen caught wearing the garment in public will receive a fine.
“Appearing in public view while exposing one’s skin or undergarments below the waist is contrary to safety, health, peace and good order of the parish and the general welfare,” the ruling states.
The new ordinance, which passed 8 to 1 at a town council meeting, will charge offenders $50 for a first offense, $100 for a second offense, and $100 plus mandatory community service for a third offense. A local judge will deliver a personalized punishment after further violations, the Huffington Post reports.
The baggy pants ban has already caused a good deal of debate in the small Louisiana town. The local NAACP chapter president voiced his support for the ban. In an interview with local news outlet WWLTV, he said “There is nothing positive about people wearing saggy pants. This is not a black issue, this is not a white issue, this is a people issue. ... Young men who were in prison who wanted to have sex with other men would send a signal to another man with his pants below his waist.”
Meanwhile, local resident Ida Moore voiced her disagreement with the new measure at a town council meeting. “It’s certainly not the first time elders complained about the social mores and dress habits of young people,” Moore said. “But to make laws of governing social differences is a slippery slope to the level of government that we do not allow.”
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“Legislating an ordinance is not necessary,” said Lucretia McBride, another local resident. “It’s overreaching and it’s simply not going to work.”
Terrebonne Council Vice Chairman Russell Hornsby suggested that local authorities re-evaluate the baggy pants ban in a year, in order to determine whether or not it’s had the desired effect on “the general welfare,” Huffington Post reports.
Terrebonne Parish is hardly the first community to make baggy pants illegal, the Huffington Post reports. In 2011, a town in Georgia made the use of baggy pants punishable by a $25 fine. The trend has also been banned at a number of Chicago-area public schools.