Maryland Senator Challenges Ban on Fortune Telling

December 17th, 2010 § 0 comments

Senator Joseph Getty, R-District 5, intends to introduce legislation to repeal Carroll County Maryland’s ban on fortune tellers.

Presently, Carroll’s code says, “a person may not demand or accept payment or gratuity to forecast or foretell, or pretend to forecast or foretell the future of another person by: 1. reading a card; 2. reading the palm of a hand; or 3. any other scheme, practice or device.”

Violators could face a $100 fine and/or up to six months in the Carroll Detention Center.

The prohibition on accepting payment for divining and/or pretending to divine, was put into the Carroll County Code in 2002, after the state removed it from the criminal code. In Maryland, both Caroline and Talbot Counties also specifically ban payment for divination.

A decision by Maryland’s Supreme Court this past June determined that a similar prohibition in Montgomery County was an unconstitutional restriction on protected speech.

Citing this case, Getty said a prohibition on fortune telling in Carroll County is a violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution.

According to the Carroll County Times, neither the Carroll County Board of Commissioners nor the delegation of the General Assembly had any objections to changing the county code through legislation.

Power to you Senator Getty. And thank you to Ariel Harper Nave, the astrologer who brought this issue to his attention.

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