It is now illegal to wear saggy pants in Terrebonne Parish, La. thanks to a new ordinance passed by the city council. Various cities throughout the country are urging young men and women to cover up by fining them for inappropriate clothing.
Under the law in Terrebonne Parish, first-time offenders will be fined $50; a $100 fine comes second time, and a $100 fine will be added to 16 hours of community service for all further offenses.
"Appearing in public view while exposing one's skin or undergarments below the waist is contrary to safety, health, peace and good order of the parish and the general welfare," the new law states.
"There is nothing positive about people wearing saggy pants," Jerome Boykin, president of the Terrebonne NAACP, told WWLTV.com. "This is not a black issue, this is not a white issue, this is a people issue. Young men who were in prison who wanted to have sex with other men would send a signal to another man with his pants below his waist."
Not all were in agreement with the parish's decision to ban the saggy pants, though. Ida Moore called the look "foolish and unattractive" but didn't believe there should be a law dictating what should or should not be worn by citizens.
"It's certainly not the first time elders complained about the social mores and dress habits of young people," Moore stated. "But to make laws of governing social differences is a slippery slope to the level of government that we do not allow."
Chicago attempted to ban saggy pants in schools with a resolution entitled "No Dragging and Sagging: Pull Up Your Pants." The City Council wanted schools to enforce uniforms instead of allowing students to wear the distracting clothing.
"The colors that they wear, the type of jeans that they wear, the underwear that they wear – believe it or not – are all related to certain gangs, and we need to stop the influence of gangs here in the city," Alderman Bob Fioretti told CBS.
The ACLU fought against the law in Chicago and stated that it would unfairly target or affect African American men. However, in Louisiana, the NAACP fully supports the decision by Terrebonne Parish.