Curses! Wood Dale leaders will have a word to say about profanity, opposite-sex clothing bans

  • Two ordinances on the Wood Dale books have come to city leaders' attention, and now they're looking to strike them.

    Two ordinances on the Wood Dale books have come to city leaders' attention, and now they're looking to strike them. Brian Shamie | Staff Photographer

 
 
Posted9/8/2021 5:18 AM

Wood Dale city officials are looking to get rid of local bans on swearing in public and wearing "clothes properly belonging to the opposite sex," two laws that not even the mayor knew were on the books.

After Mayor Nunzio Pulice was told of the ordinances by Elk Grove Village-based attorney Jim Naughton, city officials plan to meet on Thursday to eliminate the statute banning profanity in any street, alley or other public place in Wood Dale.

 

The village board, meeting as a committee of the whole, then will vote to amend another ordinance to eliminate the ban on wearing clothing meant for the opposite sex, but they will retain a ban on public nudity. Both the profanity and clothing issues were deemed "indecent or immoral" when the laws were enacted in 1976.

The changes will be presented for a formal vote at the next city council meeting.

Pulice said he was not aware of the laws until he was contacted by Naughton, who said such laws are discriminatory. Pulice said that he spoke with Police Chief Greg Vesta, who has never enforced either law during his tenure.

"Since when are we writing a citation because some guy's got a dress on or said something about me in public," Pulice said. "That just makes no sense."

Similar laws regarding opposite-sex clothing have been struck down this year in Schaumburg, Des Plaines and Elk Grove Village after Naughton led the charge.

Naughton said he found 44 other discriminatory gender-based and religious-based ordinances in towns throughout Illinois and hopes local officials will change them.

"These ordinances came from a racist, hateful place," Haughton said. "It's about what we stand for as a community. I hope we moved past these things as a society to let people wear what they want and be who they want to be."

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