Atlantic Cities
Democracy in America

Preachers Exiled from Bourbon Street: This Week in Bans

Preachers Exiled from Bourbon Street: This Week in Bans
sfmission.com/Flickr

Welcome back to our weekly look at what's been outlawed in cities across the world (past editions here):

SAVING SOULS, IN NEW ORLEANS

It's still perfectly fine to air your mammaries on Bourbon Street while vomiting Hurricanes and wearing a necklace of plastic penises. But mention God or Jesus Christ, and you could face a $500 ticket. That's the rule of the bayou under a recent law that forbids lecturing about religion or politics from dusk 'til dawn. The ordinance is laser-specific to Bourbon; walk to the next block, and you're free to orate about eternal damnation until the nutria come home.

The New Orleans City Council passed the law late last year partly as an attempt to control the deafening legions of street preachers who descend upon the notorious, tit-strewn byway during festival time. Over Labor Day, eight preachers were cited under the law while picketing Southern Decadence, a four-decade-old gathering of LBGT partygoers. Interestingly enough, the chairman of the gay-rights group Forum For Equality Louisiana has voiced support for these yelling buzzkills. John Hill told the Associated Press, “My gosh, it's certainly a waste of their time. But they certainly have a right to say it.”
 

INCESTUOUS DANCING, IN RHODE ISLAND


(shelleyelizabeth on Flickr)

A candidate for the Rhode Island Senate has seized on a most curious issue to fuel his campaign. If elected, Republican hopeful Sean Gately promises to tear down an ordinance forbidding, of all things, daddy-daughter dancing in public schools.

The measure, which applies to the school district in Cranston just south of Providence, originated last May after the ACLU complained that fathers swaying awkwardly with their blushing daughters violated federal law. To stage such soul-destroying displays of bonding, which girls will later tear out of family photo albums, the lawyers said the schools would have to promote “comparable” events for mothers and sons, according to the L.A. Times. Would flag football work, or maybe paintball?

After Gately made restoring these tortuous waltzes a pillar of his platform, officials in Cranston voiced their own distaste for the prohibition. Mayor Allan Fung stated that he was "utterly disappointed to have such a time-honored tradition under attack.” That prompted a harsh rebuttal from the ACLU, saying “the time has long since passed for public school resources to encourage stereotyping from the days of Ozzie and Harriet. Not every girl today is interested in growing up to be Cinderella – not even in Cranston."

DOGGY DOPING, IN ARIZONA


(Actually, this is a whippet with a genetic “double-muscle” mutation. Charles Williams/Flickr)

Injecting dogs with steroids is no longer legal in Tucson, after the city council banned it for being cruel and unnecessary. Tucson's dog lovers have been trying to get this law on the books for years, according to the Arizona Daily Star. In 2008, they succeeded in outlawing the procedure at a South Tucson greyhound race track. That ultimately didn't work, because the track's management simply drove the dogs out of the neighborhood and injected them in a different jurisdiction.

But in passing last week's ban, officials sided with the doggie defenders' opinion that sticking male hormones into female hounds can cause “liver damage, severe genital deformities and an early death.” The racing industry disagrees, viewing the practice as a legitimate form of birth control. Tucson's greyhounds have been under a high level of scrutiny of late, after an incident in 2006 in which 140 to 200 animals bound for adoption mysteriously disappeared. (If you've ever wondered what happens to unwanted greyhounds, at one point in the '80s the U.S. military was using them for unbelievable-sounding “bone-breaking experiments.”)

Top image of typical street-preacher targets courtesy of sfmission.com on Flickr.

John Metcalfe is a staff writer at The Atlantic Cities. All posts »

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