- Feb 10, 2005
- Reaction score
- Montgomery, Al
Most of the bills on this subject have been introduced by black legislators:
The issue of "sagging pants" -- pants that are worn so far below a person's hips that his or her undergarments are exposed -- was addressed by the Montgomery City Council, but not as originally proposed.
Councilman Tracy Larkin had proposed an ordinance declaring the exposure of undergarments unlawful. But after discussion in the council's work session prior to its Tuesday meeting, Larkin ultimately decided against pursuing the ordinance.
Larkin said that the city's legal department questioned whether the Montgomery Police Department could enforce the ordinance. Its constitutionality was also an issue.
"We have been persuaded to believe that these ordinances, where they have been enacted, have been declared unconstitutional, or they have been challenged by groups such as the ACLU that look at these first and 14th Amendment issues," Larkin said.
Instead of the ordinance, Larkin substituted a resolution -- which would not have the force of law -- that would encourage businesses, including restaurants and merchants, to institute dress codes for customers that specifically target sagging pants.
"We would encourage businesses to discourage patronage of people who are improperly dressed," Larkin said. "We would ask institutions across the board in this city that we establish a standard of conduct that we hope can be voluntarily enforced."
The resolution also calls upon the city's public relations department to develop a media campaign that would involve print, radio and TV advertising, as well as social media sites, that would discourage such dress.
"The whole idea is not to arrest people or to prosecute people, but to change behavior," Larkin said. The resolution was unanimously adopted.
Larkin noted after the meeting that state Rep. Alvin Holmes, D-Montgomery, has sponsored a bill, which has passed the House, that would allow Montgomery County to fine individuals wearing sagging pants that expose undergarments.