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Georgia mayor to sign baggy pants ban

By the CNN Wire Staff
Dublin Mayor Phil Best plans to sign the amendment to the indecent exposure ordinance on Tuesday.
Dublin Mayor Phil Best plans to sign the amendment to the indecent exposure ordinance on Tuesday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The law would bar the wearing of low pants or skirts
  • Dublin residents are divided on the new law
  • The town is 140 miles southeast of Atlanta

(CNN) -- The mayor of Dublin, Georgia, is expected to sign an ordinance Tuesday that prohibits the wearing of saggy pants. Violators face fines up to $200.

The amendment to the municipality's indecent exposure ordinance will be put into immediate effect at the city council meeting, Mayor Phil Best told CNN.

It bans the wearing of pants or skirts "more than three inches below the top of the hips exposing the skin or undergarments."

"We've gotten several complaints from citizens saying the folks with britches down below their buttocks was offensive, and wasn't there something we could do about it," Best said.

The mayor said after about a year of fielding complaints, he put the city attorney to work researching how other localities have dealt with the derriere dilemma. The result was that council members decided to put exposure due to baggy clothing in the same category as masturbation, fornication and urination in public places.

Patrolling for offenders will be left to local police in the town about 140 miles southeast of Atlanta. Violators could face fines ranging from $25 to $200, or court-mandated community service.

"That's not our intent. We'd [rather] not fine anybody, but we are prepared to," Best said.

Dublin residents are divided on the issue.

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Lashika Haynes supports the push to force folks to pull up, "It's just disrespectful by showing your drawers to people," she said.

But there are those who feel that the ordinance singles out a specific group of citizens.

Jean Wolf, who volunteers with young black men in the community said, "They're the ones wearing the saggy, baggy pants."

Wolf said she believes the ordinance will lead to profiling by authorities.

Best said that accusation is "ridiculous."

"It's for white, black, man, woman. The ordinance is for everyone, and I've seen it violated by all races and sexes," Best said.

Dublin is not alone in its pull-up-the-pants campaign. Riviera Beach, Florida, and Flint, Michigan, passed bans against sagging pants in recent years, but the Riviera Beach legislation later was declared unconstitutional after a court challenge.

"It's time we all have a mutual respect for each other ... what a person does in the privacy of their home is fine," Best said. "But if I had an 8-year-old daughter, I don't think she needs to be subjected to looking at someone's rear end."

CNN's Dina Majoli contributed to this report.

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