saggy_pants.jpgPLAQUEMINE, La. (AP) – By a vote of 9-1, the Iberville Parish Council has approved an ordinance making it illegal to wear sagging pants and other apparel below the waist, exposing skin or underwear in public.

The Advocate reports ( the ordinance approved Tuesday night affects only the unincorporated areas of the parish and will be enforced by parish deputies. A first-offense conviction will bring a $50 fine, a second conviction a $100 fine and third and ensuing convictions will bring $100 fines and 16 hours of community service.

The ordinance was drawn up at the request of council member Louis Kelley, who told the council in January that he was getting complaints from residents about the practice, what some young people call a fashion, and he viewed it as a safety issue.

"For instance, if somebody asks somebody to pull their pants up and it starts an argument or a fight, it can get out of hand,'' Kelley said prior to the meeting. "Now they can call the Sheriff's Office and they can handle it. You don't have to get into a shouting match.''

Only one person from the public spoke up at the public hearing on the ordinance.

"I'm in favor of this (ordinance),'' said Thomas Domingue Sr., a White Castle resident. "There is no reason for a young man to be showing his underwear.''

Because "sagging'' is most often practiced by young, African-American males, the American Civil Liberties Union of New Orleans declared in a Tuesday letter to the council that it is opposed to the ordinance on several levels, including racial profiling.