Public profanity would be outlawed under a sweeping new obscenity bill sponsored by S.C. Senator Robert Ford, a Charleston Democrat (and recently announced gubernatorial candidate) who once famously said that e-mail was a “tool of the aristocracy.”
Ford’s bill would make it a felony for a “person in a public forum or place of public accommodation wilfully (sic) and knowingly to publish orally or in writing, exhibit, or otherwise make available material containing words, language, or actions of a profane, vulgar, lewd, lascivious, or indecent nature.”
Hmmm … there goes 98% of our day.
And what would the penalty be for such “profane, vulgar, lewd, lascivious or indecent” behavior?
A $5000 fine or five years in prison … or both.
Yeah … we’re actually not kidding.
Ford’s bill was pre-filed on December 10 and has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Seriously, people. WTF?
Oh, and no word yet on whether text messages (which Ford probably also views as “tools of the aristocracy”) could be subjected to this Orwellian nightmare, or words like friggin’, flippin’ or freakin’.
Also unclear is whether or not we can still say “fuck” if we insert a little star where the vowel would go … i.e. “f*ck.”
Frankly, with South Carolina imploding on all fronts (and not being in a particularly good position to begin with), we think Ford’s legislation is not only incredibly ill-conceived, we’d actually go so far as to describe it thus: