PolygamousRanchKid writes "Residents in Middleborough have voted to make the foul-mouthed among them pay fines for swearing in public. Officials insist the proposal was not intended to censor casual or private conversations, but instead to crack down on loud, profanity-laden language used by teens and other young people in the downtown area and public parks. The measure could raise questions about First Amendment rights, but state law does allow towns to enforce local laws that give police the power to arrest anyone who "addresses another person with profane or obscene language" in a public place.
Another local merchant, Robert Saquet, described himself as "ambivalent" about the no-swearing proposal, likening it to try to enforce a ban on the seven dirty words of George Carlin, a nod to a famous sketch by the late comedian. "In view of words commonly used in movies and cable TV, it's kind of hard to define exactly what is obscene," said Paquet, who owns a downtown furniture store.
What about if they say 'Jehovah' . . . ?"
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