A South Carolina town has taken a stand against drooping pants, passing an ordinance that mandates new public decency prohibitions, including that of wearing sagging pants on the street.
On July 5, the town of Timmonsville, South Carolina, officially banned the donning of saggy pants in an effort to maintain public decency, WHNS reports.
The Timmonsville Town Council passed Ordinance No. 543, which prohibits town residents from engaging in several fashions while driving or walking on the street.
The ordinance bans public nudity and the display of pornographic material. Residents are forbidden from displaying “the flesh of one’s rear-end, behind, or backside during stationary or movement within the city limits.”
Finally, the ordinance bans residents from wearing pants, trousers or shorts that intentionally expose their undergarments. In other words, they may no longer wear sagging pants.
First offenders will be given a verbal warning from Timmonsville local law enforcement. After a second offense, they may receive that warning in written form and then be plugged into a registry. If they strike out three times, they could face a fine ranging from $100 to $600.
Timmonsville Mayor Pro Tempore William James, Jr. described the ordinance as a way to ensure that town residents respect themselves.
“Young children do what they see,” James told The State. “If they see older guys doing that [sagging], they’re going to grow up and think that it’s right. We need to put a stop to it. I understand there’s a such thing as fads, but this has gone on way too long.”
Ordinance No. 543 had been introduced by Councilman Walter Washington on June 7. Washington described sagging pants as some sort of epidemic for Timmonsville.
“We’re trying to build up our town,” Washington told Myrtle Beach Online. “And we can have the business, but if the people are not looking somewhat decent, then we have the business, but because of the people, they’ll be scared to get out of their cars.”
Councilwoman Cheryl Qualls had abstained from voting for Ordinance No. 543, expressing concern that its mandate on saggy pants would result in discrimination.
“It will increase racial profiling on some of our children here in Timmonsville and across the country,” Qualls said.
The councilwoman noted that some pants that may look saggy are actually just manufactured a certain way.
“When one child can afford $50 for a pair of pants that’s designed to show underwear and another child cannot and they are together and the child who cannot afford the $50 designer pants is also dressed identical to his friend, then you’re now taxing the mother of the child who can’t afford it,” Qualls said.