2007 Press Releases

11.14.2007: ACLU URGES GONZALES TO DEFEAT SAGGING PANTS BAN

 Today the ACLU of Louisiana has urged the City ofGonzales to vote down the proposed ban on  sagging pants and clothing "not becoming" to a person's sex.  According to ACLU of Louisiana Executive Director Marjorie R. Esman, the proposed ordinance violates the Constitutional liberty interest in appearance, and is unclear and will only confuse the public on how they can dress.  Esman said: "The government does not belong in the business of telling people to wear, even if some members of the community find certain types of clothing to be objectionable.  Clothing is a matter of personal expression and is not the government's concern." 

In addition, the proposed Gonzales ordinance provides no clear standards, which means that the police will use their own individual taste to decide who in Gonzales is dressed appropriately. Esman said:  "Can women wear pants? Can men wear pink shirts?  Can a woman wear her husband's jacket if she gets cold?  All of these would be subject to an officer's discretion, and the people of Gonzales shouldn't have to worry about whether a police officer likes how they are dressed every time they go out." 

The link to the ACLU's letter to the Gonzales City Council is below. www.laaclu.org/PDF_documents/Gonzales_Ltr_111407.pdf