Profanity Ordinance Unconstitutional

Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim says City Council plans to rescind an ordinance banning swearing in public after officials acknowledged that the measure is unconstitutional.

Fraim says the city will rescind the anti-profanity statute at the next council meeting, on August 19.

The plan to strike the ordinance comes after a judge on Wednesday dismissed a public profanity charge against rapper Raymond "Boots" Riley, who used a variation of the F-word during a performance at the Bayou Boogaloo festival in June.

Prior court rulings have determined that people can be prosecuted for profane language only if they are used as "fighting words," which wasn't the case in Riley's performance. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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