July 30, 2010
Amazing Statutes of Yore
The Detroit Free Press the other day reported on a number of old laws still on the books in the state of Michigan (article here).
One city in the state still has a law banning homosexuals from bars. The city manager says there is no rush to remove laws such as this as long as the laws aren't being enforced. I completely disagree. It's one thing to keep arcane laws that can't really impact everyday life (see, e.g., the city of Birmingham's (Michigan) law that makes it illegal to "[t]hrow rotten soap or animal horns on a street"). It is quite another to have laws on the books that codify a disdain for a specific group of people.
It appears the state has quite a bit of work to do to modernize the statute books. A few of my favorite illegal acts:
- To "indulge in pointless, useless wandering from place to place within a public area without any excuse for such roaming other than impulse."
- Send a postcard that annoys someone.
- Paint a bird and sell as a parakeet.
- Loiter in the morgue.
One city even makes it illegal to "[n]eglect your wife." Not necessarily a good law, but truly outstanding advice.
July 30, 2010 | Permalink