Outdated laws. Michigan House Bill 4248 amends the Michigan Penal Code to make it legal to curse in a woman’s presence.
Every state has outdated laws. Michigan may soon lose two questionable ones. Imagine answering a job application question, “Were you ever convicted of a crime?” with the answer, “Why yes, I was once convicted for using harsh language in an email to a fella who refused to accept my invitation to duel. I had to pay a fine of $750 for the bullying tone of my email.” Perhaps a law regulating “duels” is an outdated one?
Here is the first outdated law that may be repealed in 2015:
Section 173 (MCL 750.173):
Prohibits the use of reproachful language in print for not accepting or fighting a duel; a violation is a misdemeanor. The penalty for a violation was raised from a maximum fine of $250 to a maximum fine of $750 by Public Act 672 of 2002.
Epic duel. VTda.info
Check out this picture and many more at vtda.info/node/563
The second outdated law that may be repealed in 2015 makes it a misdemeanor to use insulting language in the presence of a woman or child. Maximum penalty is 90 days in jail or $500:
Section 337 (MCL 750.337):
Prohibits indecent, immoral, obscene, vulgar, or insulting language in the presence or hearing of a woman or child. A violation is a misdemeanor.
Bart Simpson likes free speech by Buschap. Available on flickr.com.
In People v. Boomer, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that MCL 750.337 is unconstitutionally vague. http://www.michbar.org/opinions/appeals/2002/032902/14457.pdf.
In the Boomer case, a guy was canoeing on the Rifle River in Arenac County on August 15, 1998. He fell out of his canoe and let loose a string of profanities. He was one of many canoeists chasing one another and slapping paddles on the water. A deputy heard “vulgar language” and arrested this guy because two children under the age of five were in the area and could hear the foul language. The deputy wrote a citation for violation of MCL 750.337.
So yes, it is socially unacceptable to swear loudly and be vulgar in the presence of children. I wonder how one would enforce such a law if the person swearing loudly in the presence of a child was a woman?