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Swearing in Public Outlawed in Massachusetts Town
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The town of Middleborough in Massachusetts has made publicly swearing and lobbing F-words across streets, an offense punishable by a $20 ticket. The ordinance was approved by town residents of Middleborough last week. The ordinance was the brainchild of one Mimi DuPhily who is a member of the town’s beautification committee.

Speaking on the strange ordinance, DuPhily said that the law, which passed 183-50 is already being ridiculed by the media. She said, “The talk radio is making hysterical fun of me. They’re calling me the granny-nanny … People didn’t know what to do. They felt uncomfortable walking down the street with their kids.”

The ordinance was a response to the lobbing of F-bombs screaming across the street by adolescents and groups of kids which made it difficult for conservative families to frequent certain streets with their children. DuPhily, 63, said, “We’re not talking about just conversation but screaming it across the street.”


Residents were upset by the loud swearing by teenagers in the small town south of Boston. DuPhily said, “It was very irresponsible behavior, and it was getting out of hand.” Though the ordinance does not specify which curses are banned and leaves it up to the discretion of the police to exercise the authority, the measure is already drawing flak from certain circles. However, there increasing stream of Facebook likes on the news, showing that people are also approving the measure.

As DuPhily pointed out, “It does not affect you if you are sitting at a café … It only affects you if you are verbally abusing someone across the street.” However, legal analysts are of the opinion that the little town could face issues raised over the breach of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Part of the Bill of Rights, apparently, prohibits the making of any law that abridges the freedom of speech.

Abridging the rights to have a decent neighborhood, of course, is okay, if analysts are to have their way.

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