Image by Flickr user zebra.paperclipImage by 20090114-curse.jpg The intent here is clearly to curse, but it's not technically a curse word. But does it communicate a curse word? Would I get a $5,000 fine or 5 years for this? None of those questions are answered in Ford's bill.
S.C. Senator Robert Ford has introduced a bill that would make it a felony to communicate a profane term in public.
Read more stories on this subject in our Robert Ford topic page. So, yes, the would-be governor Ford (yes, he's running in 2010) wants to make it a state responsibility to arrest and penalize folks $5,000 or 5 years in jail for cursing in public.
His bill says:
It is unlawful for a person in a public forum or place of public accommodation wilfully and knowingly to publish orally or in writing, exhibit, or otherwise make available material containing words, language, or actions of a profane, vulgar, lewd, lascivious, or indecent nature.
A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
To be completely frank, I find Ford's efforts to clean up society admirable but completely unenforceable.
The bill doesn't seem to be a flat problem with the first amendment, but courts would be charged with developing an indecency level of words and what crosses that line and what does not.
And, then to manage all those arrests? And the ramification to tourism, who would want to visit the no cursing state?
So, there you have it.
Robert Ford for governor!
Thanks to NBC News 2 for tipping us off.