Swearing Is A Punishable Offense in Middleborough, Nannychusetts


I don’t have a family member who could live in Middleborough, Massachusetts. They couldn’t afford it.

Middleborough, Massachusetts might have out-nannied NYC, the land of no. If you swear in public in Middleborough, Massachusetts, you now get fined $20. It sounds like a violation of the 1st amendment to me but Massachusetts state law allows towns to actually arrest anyone who “addresses another person with profane or obscene language” in a public place.

The residents voted for it 183-50 and it’s their town.

I don’t like to hear cursing either but to make it illegal is a bit much for anyone who likes freedom.

Frighteningly, I am on board with the ACLU on this. “Matthew Segal, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, said the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the government cannot prohibit public speech just because it contains profanity.” [NY Daily News]

Apparently, they have a 1968 law that allows for the arrest of anyone engaged in public cursing. They don’t usually enforce that one. This law will now decriminalize cursing and replace it with a violation punishable by a fine.

Segal praised the residents for bypassing the criminal law but said this isn’t all that much better –

“Police officers who never enforced the bylaw might be tempted to issue these fines, and people might end up getting fined for constitutionally protected speech.”

Read more at the NY Daily News

I hear Bob Beckel and Bill Maher are not allowed into Middleborough.