ACLU sends letter to North Myrtle Beach over new ‘vulgar’ music ordinance

Grand Strand

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sent a letter to North Myrtle Beach over the city’s new “vulgar” music ordinance, saying the ordinance violates the First Amendment.

The letter, dated Oct. 7, urged Mayor Marilyn Hatley and city council to repeal the amendment that puts a restriction on how loud vulgar music can be played within city limits. The letter states that the ordinance is an unconstitutional content-based law and “criminalizes vast swaths of protected speech.”

The letter cites various Supreme Court rulings regarding vulgar content.

The letter also says defining “profane” as “crude, filthy, dirty, smutty, or indecent” is too vague and subjective, claiming having no definition would lead to discriminatory enforcement.

The ACLU also states in the letter that even if the city could limit profanity, the decibel restrictions are too unreasonable, comparing the decibel limits to a whisper or leaves rustling.

The ACLU said it would be in best interest of the city to remove the ordinance, as the city is exposed to litigation, costing the city lots of money.

“We’ve received it, and everyone is entitled to their opinion,” spokesperson Pat Dowling said in response to a News13 request for comment.

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