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City nixes anti-swearing laws

Oct. 5, 2011 at 2:31 PM

PARK RIDGE, Ill., Oct. 5 (UPI) -- Officials in an Illinois city said they have done away with a ban on public profanity as part of an effort to do away with outdated ordinances.

The Park Ridge City Council voted to get rid of the law, which made it illegal "to use profanity in any street, alley or public place of the city," as well as a section of the disorderly conduct ordinance outlawing use of "abusive or obscene language" and gestures in public, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Wednesday.

Park Ridge Police Chief Frank Kaminski said the anti-swearing laws appeared to violate the constitutionally protected freedom of speech.

"Those laws aren't really constitutional," Kaminski said.

The chief said officials are also looking at a section of the indecent exposure ordinance banning residents from wearing clothing belonging to the opposite gender in public. However, the law does not specify the clothing items in question.

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