Old 27-01-2005, 11:50 AM   #1
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This is a couple of years old now, but I've only just come across it, and didn't know such a law existed - even in the bonkers republican states in America...


Starr switches from Monica to body art
From Tim Reid in Washington


KENNETH STARR, the Republican lawyer who hounded President Clinton with his exhaustive investigation of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, has a new case that this time goes to the heart of the Constitution: the right to get a tattoo.

Mr Starr, a solicitor-general when President Bush Sr was in the White House and a man known for his conservative bent, has taken up the fight of Ronald White, a body artist and punk rocker, who has fallen foul of South Carolina’s anti-tattoo law.

Mr White, 33, is taking his crusade to the US Supreme Court, claiming that needling skin with his designs of dragons, gargoyles and angels should be entitled to the same First Amendment free expression rights as other artists enjoy. In 1999, frustrated by the failure of South Carolina’s politicians to repeal their 1966 law — Oklahoma is the only other state to retain a ban — Mr White tattooed a man on television. The South Carolina authorities took a dim view. He was arrested, fined $2,500 (£1,620) and put on five years’ probation. For that time Mr White cannot carry pistols or rifles, get a drink in a bar or leave the state without informing his probation officer. He appealed to the state’s highest court, citing his constitutional rights, but lost.

Now, with the help of Mr Starr, who views his case as a serious First Amendment issue, he is asking the highest court in the land to decide the vexed issue of tattoos. “It’s our personal right as Americans to choose how we will express ourselves — on our bodies especially — and that is of the upmost importance to me,” Mr White said.

Mr Starr told the court, which is deciding whether to hear the case in full, that it was wrong to outlaw Mr White’s art “in a society that protects liquor advertising and pornography”. He told reporters, however, that he does not himself wear a tattoo, and has no intention of getting one.

Mr White’s nemesis thus far has been J. M. “Jake” Knotts, a South Carolina congressman and a former policeman and Vietnam veteran, who reached the House in 1994 on an anti- tattoo ticket, claiming that they are unclean, ungodly and bad for his state’s image.

“If God wanted you to have a tattoo, he’d have put your name on you,” Mr Knotts, known in the tattoo world as “Thou Shalt Knotts”, declares.

The tattoo ban dates from the 1960s, when a parlour in New York was blamed for a hepatitis outbreak. Most states banned the practice, but have since relented.
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Old 27-01-2005, 12:14 PM   #2
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Interesting reading . It's amazing how some folk look upon tattoos.To me, tattoos are an ancient form of body art.It's how we express ourselves.
Being told that you can't have a tattoo is as bad as someone telling you what clothes to wear or how to style your hair. If Tony Blair slapped a ban on ink in this country he'd be laughed at.Bloody 'ell, there are far worse things we could be doing.It's politics and religion that kills people, not a bit of ink on someone's body.*Gets down off soapbox*
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Old 27-01-2005, 12:15 PM   #3
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so you can carry a gun but not get tattooed. hmmm.....
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Old 27-01-2005, 12:16 PM   #4
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It's even more shocking that this is from a country that has led a war apparently based on democracy, liberty and freedom.

But I think we all suspected that was bollocks!
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Old 27-01-2005, 12:22 PM   #5
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Yet another contradiction of their so called Constitution. Bloody America! Makes me sick to think that someone can call tattooing un-godly. Does he have a written afidavid from god saying so?

It's interesting how a country can demonise other religions and cultures as opressive to freedom of the individual and then have laws like that.

Someone please bomb them.
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Old 27-01-2005, 12:27 PM   #6
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>Quote< “If God wanted you to have a tattoo, he’d have put your name on you,” Mr Knotts, known in the tattoo world as “Thou Shalt Knotts”, declares.>Quote<

He didn't do this because he knew most people would want custom work!!!
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Old 27-01-2005, 12:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Makes me sick to think that someone can call tattooing un-godly
coudn't agree more especially the amount of religious based tattoos you see around. have you seen that group of youngsters in the US called "straight edgers". they are basically religious punks (punks as in music not as is twats) who don't drink, smoke or have casual sex. they are tattooed to the hilt.

weird place america.
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Old 27-01-2005, 12:35 PM   #8
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America is a victim of it's own contradictions, freedom within very particular boundries, which can come in the form of colour, race, opinion, etc... all controlled by the media and the govenment.

I hated it when I worked there, I could not believe the amount of under educated idiots that live there.

My 16 year old saw a programme the other week where students from Yale took some of our A level exams, and the majority of them got less than 50%... guess those exclusive schools base their entrance on who can pay and who can't.
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Old 27-01-2005, 12:42 PM   #9
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America is working under a very right-wing Christian agenda. Individuality is the first thing to go. Anything outside the norm will be (and has been) immediately demonised.
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Old 27-01-2005, 12:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fortune07
so you can carry a gun but not get tattooed. hmmm.....
freedom of speach ? freedom of expression ? but its ok to shoot people !
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