S. US cities ban 'indecent' trousers

Trousers that dangle way below the belt and expose what the wearer has on — or just has — underneath have been banned in two cities in the southern state of Louisiana, city officials said.

S. US cities ban 'indecent' trousers

Trousers that dangle way below the belt and expose what the wearer has on — or just has — underneath have been banned in two cities in the southern state of Louisiana, city officials said.

"We unanimously passed the legislation because we have had so many complaints from citizens who don't want to see young men with pants hanging so low, showing their underwear and, in some cases, their posterior," Louis Marshall, a city councillor in Alexandria, told AFP by phone.

"The legislation is gender neutral: we wouldn't want to see young ladies walking down the street showing their underwear either," he said.

"Dressing like that — it's just not right or decent."

Councillors in another Louisiana city, Shreveport, passed similar legislation, although not unanimously.

"I introduced the bill because I was concerned to see our young folk walking around showing their underwear, or worse," councillor Calvin Lester told AFP by phone.

"This fashion is unsightly, unseemly and disrespectful," he added.

"Some people are saying this is a ban on freedom of expression but our concern was with behaviour."

In Alexandria, where the new law was passed unanimously by the council, it cannot be vetoed by the mayor and passes into law immediately, Marshall said.

In Shreveport, where the proposal passed with four members of the council voting in favour and three against, the law needs to be approved by the mayor, who has "said he will definitely sign," said Lester.

Councillors in Atlanta, Georgia, are also debating whether to ban saggy pants, and the very low-slung fashion statement is already against city law in Delcambre, Louisiana, where offenders' cheek can earn them a fine of 500 dollars (350 euros) or up to six months in jail.

In Alexandria, the punishment would be "a fine starting at 25 dollars, that goes up every time the pants go down," Marshall told AFP.

The trend of wearing oversized trousers that fall down and expose one's smalls derives from the US prison system, where inmates' belts were taken away, causing their trousers to descend far below their waists.

Opponents of saggy pants laws say they are a form of racial discrimination, as the fashion is closely linked to the hip hop culture and is hugely popular among young blacks.


AFP

Last Mod: 30 Ağustos 2007, 10:46
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