Push to make sagging pants illegal fails

Photo used under a wikipedia commons license courtesy Brian Hawkins

The sagging pant look may be crude, but it didn’t upset enough Kansas City registered voters to make it illegal.

A petition for that got only 435 valid signatures out of 3,572 needed, the city clerk reported recently.

A group called “Pull Up Your Pants, Respect Yourself Coalition” made the effort to get an ordinance banning sagging pants.

Their “Petition Against Public Indecency” fell way short. People can sag on, decent or not.

Maybe that is best. Kansas City avoids open warfare in a fashion clash that has gone on for two decades.

According to Wikipedia:

Sagging came from the prison system where belts are sometimes not allowed. Hip-hop artists copied the style in the 1990s and it became a symbol of rebellion against social norms.

Legal strife followed.

In the last decade, many cities, school systems, transit agencies and airlines enacted laws or regulations against it.

American Civil Liberties Union lawyers have attacked some of the laws.

Underwear showed in a presidential election.

In 2008, presidential candidate Barack Obama called the laws a waste of time, but added: “…brothers should pull up their pants. You are walking by your mother, your grandmother, your underwear in showing. What’s wrong with that?…Some people might not want to see your underwear. I’m one of them.”

Money hangs on the issue.

In November 2010, Albany, Georgia enacted a law against sagging with a $25 fine for the first offense and $250 for those after it. By September 2011, it had collected $3,916 in fines.

Legal or not, there are times not to sag.

Last year, Alabama County Judge John Bush sentenced a 20-year-old man to three days in jail for appearing in court with sagging blue jeans. He told him, “You are in contempt of court because you showed your butt in court.”

Sag with caution.

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