Legislative Bill Fails To Tighten Belts

Posted on May 17, 2010 in Legislation

The House Committee on the Administration of Criminal Justice involuntarily deferred House Bill 103 last week. The rejected bill would have criminalized exposing undergarments and the “cleft of the buttocks.” The legislation wanted to target teenagers who often wear loose fitting pants that expose the boxer shorts they are wearing.

Bill 103 was rejected though due to fears that the bill would be applied to everyone and that it could affect tourism and business in the state. State Representative Barbara Norton (D- Shreveport) also stated that she did not want to return to her constituencies having focused on underwear rather than serious problems facing the state such as health care, education and jobs. She also argued that this should be a matter of parental decision-making not law enforcement.

Rickey Hardy (D-Lafayette), the bill’s sponsor, sees the matter in a significantly more serious light, stating that he is “disgusted” at the sight of people’s underwear in public. Furthermore, Hardy claimed that he believed that this style of dress was gang related and could be a danger to the public.

Ultimately, the Committee sided with the logic of State Rep. Charmaine Stiaes (D-New Orleans), who stated, “It’s an expression of a generation. Generations come and go. Styles come and go.”

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