But that's about to change.People in the state will soon be free to swear to their [email protected]&#%! heart's content, after the Virginia state legislature voted to repeal a law that prohibited profanity in public. The bill passed the state Senate on Wednesday, and passed the state House last month. It now heads to Gov. Ralph Northam's desk for his signature.CNN has contacted Northam's office for comment.
The law dates back to 1792
"Profane swearing" has been a crime in Virginia since at least 1792, when a foul mouth in public would cost renegades a fine of 83 cents. The US Supreme Court ruled in Cohen v. California in 1971 that banning offensive messages was a violation First Amendment rights, writing that "one man's vulgarity is another's lyric." But Virginia's law stayed on the books. It's unclear how many people have actually been charged under Virginia's law. But the Washington Post reported in 2017 that the numbers appeared to be small, judging by arrests in Arlington County, which had a local ordinance based on the law. Republican Delegate Michael Webert has been pushing to get the law repealed for a few years now, but had so far been unsuccessful. This time around, Democratic delegate Dawn Adams joined him in his effort to relax the rules on profanity.It's likely that the two received enough support to repeal the law this year because of recent changes to makeup of the state legislature. Last November, Democrats Read More – Source