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This page contains a single entry by Westley Annis published on June 27, 2007 9:35 PM.

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Dress Codes

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Lafourche Parish councilman Lindel Toups has introduced an ordinance that would make it illegal to wear low handing pants that expose underwear. Modeled after a similar law that was passed recently in Dalcambre, La.

As a coincidental aside, on my home from work on Monday, when this proposed ordinance was first reported, I saw four kids riding bikes down St. Mary Street. Two kids on each bike, the ones sitting on the handle bars holding their pants up, with their underwear exposed, the two peddling relying on the bike seat to hold their pants up so they could place two hands on the handle bars. Of course, their underwear was showing also.

This proposed ordinance is a tricky one for me.

As a conservative who believes in less government intrusion into our lives, it is hard to support an ordinance that invokes says what we can and cannot wear. However, as a conservative who finds this mode of dress profane, I can find reason to support it.

The basic problem can be boiled to a simple question: Does this style of dress meet the decency standards of the community? That answer will change as you walk up and down the bayou.

Personally, it does not reflect the standards of decency for me and my family and I would hope I could prevent my children from being exposed to that when we venture from our home.

Should this ordinance pass, which deep down inside of me, I kind of hope it does, I think it will amount to nothing more than feel-good legislation. It's not going to amount to a whole lot.

The only way to curb dress like is for local business establishments to enforce dress codes on their customers and employees.

Remember when you used to see signs on the door that read “No shirt, no shoes, no service”? Let's bring that back and add a line that reads, “If we can see your underwear, we will gladly sell you a belt that includes full training on the proper use and wear before you leave.”

Employers should make sure their employees are properly dressed. Some do and some don't.

I'm already a big fan of shopping with local businesses, so if they employ these practices, it makes it even easier for me to shop with them and avoid the big nationals. If enough local businesses do this, you will see a change in dress.

Their will be some hoopla at the beginning, “You're infringing on my free speech.”

No, we are not. There are limits to free speech and this is one of them.

One other aside, the Daily Comet, in their editorial against the ordinance called the debate over the ordinance a waste of time.

“We would like to see Toups and his colleagues spend their real time on real problems and leave matters of personal taste to private individuals.”

No, it is not a waste of time. As our elected officials, they represent the community of Lafourche Parish in its entirety. Through their debates, we can learn what others in our community think of the decency standards the community has as a whole.

Debating this issue in public can also help form a final decision in the minds to the retired citizens we are trying to entice to move to the area.

Besides, although no one wants to see it last all night, councilmen are not paid by the hour, so whether they can conclude a meeting in sixty minutes or six hours, it doesn't really matter, just as long as they discuss everything that is on the agenda.

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