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Comments about ‘Profanity penalty: Ogden ordinance tries to quiet swearing in city parks’

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Published: Wednesday, Aug. 8 2012 8:54 p.m. MDT

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Hutterite
American Fork, UT

Oh, my heck!!

toosmartforyou
Farmington, UT

So this is patterned after a West Valley City ordinance? They are the same folks that introduced the 4-day work week for local government; you know, the model Huntsman followed by reducing services from the State of Utah by 20% to residents. Some very high profile people that were forced to leave West Valley, and who were responsible for their incredible amounts of debt, were very quickly hired by Ogden City. When are we going to learn that West Valley is no model of ethical behavior, per se, or getting things right for the way government ought to be exercised, and quit following the blind as we fall into the ditch together? Ogden needs to solve their own problems and arrive at a proper solution; West Valley has plenty of their own issuers with which to deal. There are great folks in both cities, by the way, so maybe the politicians should ask their stalwart residents for solutions. Now that would be a novel approach to governing, wouldn't it?

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

"The use of profanity, Brown explained, wouldn't be illegal unless the language becomes disruptive to others."

Good luck with consistent enforcement of that.

I can assure you that hearing any swear word could be considered "disruptive to others"

This is another overreach that will cause more problems than it solves.

Lets see if the "get govt out of our lives" crowd shows up in force on this one. Not confident.

RanchHand
Huntsville, UT

Didn't we recently have an eat-in at Chic-fil-A over the right of "free speech"?

Shouldn't we now have a "swear-in" in public parks to support free speech?

Anne26
West Jordan, UT

I attended my son's lacrosse game last year, and we had to put up with a father from the other team who spent most of the game berating the officials and using every word in the book. He was so irate his face was red, and I seriously thought he was going to have a heart attack. The official who was receiving the brunt of his abuse was young, probably 17. It was wrong that the officials, the boys on the field, and the rest of the spectators had to put up with this man's behavior and language. I wonder if there was a law against it, if he would have tried to keep himself in check. It is hard to say. I wish I had had the authority to remove him from the field; I would have done it in a heartbeat.

ulvegaard
Medical Lake, Washington

I think that overall the desired outcome is commendable, but I have doubts about its enforceability; at least in a meaningful way.

It would be a more simple problem to solve if its origins were city parks. But it's not. Profanity has been an increasing part of society for the past several decades. Once banned on television, it is now allowed. Off color speech which once resulted in a stern lecture and occasionally followed up by a soap job is now all the rave.

When working in my garden, it does no good to simply trim the weeds. Maybe, as suggested, local citizens will have some doable solutions. More than likely, this, like so many issues plaguing society, it begins in the home and that is where it must be corrected. Fining people at the park, though filling city coffers, will do little more than incite resentment and inspire rebellion.

Moderate
Salt Lake City, UT

Days like these, I am thankful for the existence of The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver. The 10th Circuit -- "restoring the Constitution which Utah shreds".

Western Rover
HERRIMAN, UT

Why doesn't the referee simply dock points from the team that has an out-of-control fan (perhaps after issuing a warning), and if necessary disqualify the team? Of course, once that happens there will be more swearing, but the idea is that it would usually never get to that point.

Then you don't need to pass an ordinance and spend a lot of taxpayer money defending it against the inevitable challenge to its constitutionality. Whether the city wins or loses that fight, the taxpayers will lose either way.

Dektol
Powell, OH

Hope they have lots of money to defend themselves in Court. Freedom of Speech lawsuits coming. I'll go and swear and use the defense of "I was just quoting J. Golden Kimball", the Mormon Swearing Apostle.

no fit in SG
St.George, Utah

Recall listening to city worker's colorful language as they sliced their fingers while repairing a sprinkler.
Are they exempt?

terra nova
Park City, UT

Profane speech, by definition, is abusive. Abuse is wrong. But is it the word itself which abuses? Or is it the intent of the speaker? Or is it the sensitivity of the person who feels abused or assaulted by language?

I know a man with a good heart who frequently used profane language. It is his way. He might refer to someone with genuine affection as a "little s---." Some people might define this as abuse. Some would be offended by his language.

I know his heart and let it go. He means nothing bad by it. There are others who would not be inclined to let it pass. And isn't the lack of desire to "let it go" just a little unholy? Isn't a little profane? Isn't it also just a little abusive?

There are those who do not spake profane words, but their actions are profane. They are the hypocrites, the modern-day Pharisees who "make a man an offender for a word." (Isaiah 29:21) They are those that employ "unrighteous dominion" (see D&C 121) typical of religious zealots in a white-hot rage.

Let's work together to avoid profane any behavior.

Shimlau
SAINT GEORGE, UT

Western Rover: What a marvelous solution. let the sponsoring league handle the problem, penalizing the team and/or stopping the game would make much more sense than an almost unenforceable city ordinance. How would the city enforce this if the police weren't there. I have been to many youth sporting events held at the public parks, and almost never seen an officer in attendance unless they had a child particpating. If your advice was made policy by the leagues, there may be an issue the first time, but not many times after that. A much better idea than a city ordinance!

Tolstoy
salt lake, UT

So if the problem is people getting loud and verbally aggressive why limit it to only swear words?there are plenty of good utah folks that know how to get very verbally aggressive without actually swearing. the words flip and heck are two words that come to mind. Beyond clearly violating free speech rights it is also vague and of target.

Fitz
Murray, UT

I would suggest that Ogden City get a legal opinion about the constitutionality of the proposed profanity ordinance. And if that opinion does not come back that the proposed law is unconstitutional, then they need to hire another attorney or put aside a whole lot of money to defend the very questionable ordinance in federal court. I am not a fan of profanity, but what is described in this article is so subjective that saying one swear word could trigger a call to the police. I know many people who are offended if they here even one profane word. This is just an expensive mistake on the part of the City.

David B.
Cedar City, UT

Why do these people want to infringe on free speech? Now there are places you can't say certain things in certain areas because it would create a panic and cause injuries like yelling fire in a theatre.But really the police have enough on their plates in protecting the people then have to be referee's between two people get in a childish battle over words.Granted they act like children when they do this but all should know better.

Rifleman
Salt Lake City, Utah

Re: RanchHand Huntsville, UT
"Didn't we recently have an eat-in at Chic-fil-A over the right of "free speech"?"

Decent people show respect for women and children by controlling their mouths in public. There will always be those who try to make this world a better place for others, and there will always be those who want to make this world a more ugly place.

Certainly people should have the 2nd Amendment right to use foul language .... but why would anybody want to?

Kalindra
Salt Lake City, Utah

I know plenty of people who are very intimidating and in-your-face aggressive who don't feel the need to use a single swear word or swear word lite (flip, darn, etc.) to achieve their end.

If the concern is aggression and fighting, let's address aggression and fighting.

Pretending that the only words that lead to fights are swear words is ignoring reality.

Rifleman
Salt Lake City, Utah

Re: dwayne Provo, UT
"Rifleman, your definition of ugly is wrong."

It is a question of refinement. The use of foul language defines the user as someone who is coarse and rough. They typically have made wrong choices, taken the easy road, are less educated, blame others for their problems, and little self control.

There will always be those who work make the world a more beautiful, brighter place, and help lift others up. And, there will always be those who want to make others as miserable as their own choices have made them.

The goal should be to become refined like a bar of gold, not coarse like a bar of pig iron.

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