Favorite

Despite Virginia Beach Precedent, Cursing in Public Remains Illegal in Virginia 

click to enlarge back_page1-1.jpg

Potty-mouths beware: Constitutional or not, it appears cursing in public will remain illegal in Virginia.

Del. Michael Webert, R-Fauquier County, thought it might be time to get rid of the language in state law forbidding “profanely cursing or swearing in public.” It’s a class-four misdemeanor, punishable by a $250 fine.

It’s been 27 years since the Virginia Court of Appeals declared a nearly identical Virginia Beach ordinance unconstitutional on free-speech grounds, Webert told a House of Delegates subcommittee Wednesday. Webert’s legislation would have removed the prohibition from state law to conform with that 1989 ruling.

Not so fast, said Del. Jackson Miller, R-Manassas. Uttering a string of expletives that could have gotten him arrested had a police officer been present, Miller – a former policeman – painted a scenario of a mother trying to protect her children from coarse language on a street corner.

Getting rid of the cursing ban, he said, “leads to a crass society.”

On a motion by Miller, Webert’s bill was tabled, meaning it is unlikely to advance.

“There’s always a little bit of discomfort when it comes to free speech,” Webert said after the vote.

Meanwhile, Virginia Beach is still trying to discourage foul language – unenforceable law or not. Along the oceanfront, signs feature a red “no” symbol superimposed on a string of characters representing profanity.

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

  • Re: The Brain-Makers

    • i am from California, i have been surfing from Parkinson's Disease for past 2years now,…

    • on June 26, 2017
  • Re: Mayor Stoney Announces a Commission on Monument Avenue Statues

    • ^ The reason there is so much animosity toward these monuments, is that there are…

    • on June 26, 2017
  • Re: A Brookland Park Bank Renovation Seeks a Grant Extension, but Some Neighbors are Wary

    • Who is performing the checks and balances of the free monies already issued? Were they…

    • on June 26, 2017
  • More »
  • Latest in News and Features

    Copyright © 2017 Style Weekly
    Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
    All rights reserved
    Powered by Foundation