Fortune-telling Legal in Harford County, Maryland

March 10th, 2011 § 0 comments

Seal of Harford County, Maryland

Harford County Seal

Despite protests last week, fortune-telling is now legal in Harford County, Maryland.

At a meeting this past Tuesday, council voted 6-1 to approve a bill which repeals the 31-year ban on psychic businesses.

But it limits where they can be located to the B-2 and B-3 business zones.

The vote was delayed until this week after protests last week by some residents opposed to fortune-telling.

Protesters disagreed with the recent Maryland High Court decision which ruled that bans against fortune-telling are unconstitutional limits to free speech.

Though there was little, if any, support for fortune-telling among council members, they felt they had no alternative but to vote as they did.

According to Bryna Zumer of the Aegis, Councilman Guthrie, who introduced the bill, explained it this way,

“A ‘no’ vote on this bill would mean you approve fortune-telling anywhere in this county. The worst thing about that is if one went next door to you…that would be grandfathered and you couldn’t get it out of there.”

Councilman Joe Wood, the only councillor to vote no on the bill, disagreed. He felt that any vote to repeal fortune-telling was wrong, and shouldn’t be supported.

Another councilman, Jim McMahan described it as the best of two evils.

Though he compared Tarot readers to ‘snake-oil salesmen’, he felt that keeping their ‘mystical occupations’ in the open was better than nothing.

Before the new legislation becomes official, it still has to go to County Executive David Craig for his approval.

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