Raritan, NJ, may restore right to curse freely in public
A local councilman wants to give Raritan Borough residents the right to freely use the colorful language of their choice, and end a 27 year old ban on foul language.
The ban on cursing was championed by then councilman, now candidate for governor, Jack Ciattarelli in 1994, including fines and possible jailtime. Although, there is no indication anyone has ever been charged with violating the ordinance.
At the time, councilman Ciattarelli said it was a quality of life issue. He went on "CBS This Morning" to talk about preserving "a certain quality of life that the people of Raritan not only want but they expect.”
Now, 27 years later, a current councilman wants to repeal that ban, and restore the freedom to talk like a New Jerseyan with plenty of colorful language and expressions sprinkled in. Councilman Pablo Orozco is encouraging residents to attend a council meeting tonight to talk about the repeal. Orozco says "colorful language" is welcome by those who wish to testify.
A Marine veteran, Orozco says he is certainly no stranger to colorful language, said, "This law is so stupid no one has ever been cited or prosecuted for the offense. It’s time to take this law off the books.”
As a Marine, I fought for our Constitutional rights and few are as precious as the right to free speech in the public arena. In the 27 years since Mr. Ciattarelli imposed this law upon the people of Raritan, lots of folks have said words you can’t say on television in downtown Raritan, but because this law is so stupid no one has ever been cited or prosecuted for the offense. It’s time to take this law off the books.” - Raritan Councilman Pablo Orozco
To underscore what Orozco says is the ridiculousness of the ordinance, he noted Ciattarelli "proudly said the word sh*t" at a campaign rally. Otozco said if Ciattarelli had said that word in Raritan, "He would have risked a $500 fine and as much as a year and a half in jail."
The cursing ban has become a bizarre campaign issue in recent weeks, with Democrats releasing a campaign video poking fun at Ciattarelli and his ban on bad language.
The public hearing on the issue will be held tonight, Tuesday, October 26th at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers.