Front Royal, Virginia Debates Fortune-Telling Ban

August 18th, 2014 § 2 comments

In a 4-3 vote last week, the Town Council of Front Royal, Virginia, passed a motion to repeal Code 110-17, a fortune-telling ban that specifically targets ‘gypsies or other strolling company or person….”

The code itself states,

A. It shall be unlawful for any company of gypsies or other strolling company or person to receive compensation or reward for pretending to tell fortunes or to practice any so-called “magic art.”

B. Every person violating this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not less than five hundred dollars ($500.) or confined in jail not less than one (1) nor more than six (6) months, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

Though it might seem that this ordinance would be unacceptable simply for naming a specific ethnic group, let alone the undefined prohibition on ‘pretend fortunes’ and the practice of ‘magic art’, a number of town folk came out to support it.

I won’t go into all the arguments here, but please take a look at NVDaily.com’s reporting (and comment section) to see how the debate shaped up. Most of it revolved around religious attitudes and some of it is quite ugly.

And to make things even more confusing, Front Royal has another Town Code on the books that details the license fee to be paid by ‘fortune-tellers’ et al.

Code 98-42 says,

For every license for a person engaged in business as a fortuneteller, clairvoyant, phrenologist, spirit medium, astrologist, hypnotist or palmist, there shall be paid a license tax of four hundred dollars ($400.) a year. Such license tax shall not be proratable. A license for a fortuneteller, clairvoyant, phrenologist, spirit medium, astrologist, hypnotist or palmist shall not be transferable.

Though the license fee seems a bit high, Code 98-42 makes it clear that once that fee is paid, ‘fortune-telling’ in Front Royal is already legal. If so, the issue surrounding Code 110-17 isn’t so much about ‘fortune-telling’ per se, but rather who’s doing it.

There will be a second hearing on Code 110-17 before any repeal actually takes effect. I’ll let you know how it plays out as I hear more.

comment on this post

Tagged , ,

§ 2 Responses to Front Royal, Virginia Debates Fortune-Telling Ban"

  • Rev Kelyla Spicer says:

    We have a victory on the 110-17 code but the real fight has just begun. Clergy of all faiths have the right to use what ever tools that are needed to help their people and the law has no right to tell US to pay for it!!!!

    98-42
    $400 license charge for “clairvoyant, phrenologist, spirit medium, astrologist, hypnotist or palmist.”

Leave a Reply to Rev Kelyla Spicer Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What's this?

You are currently reading Front Royal, Virginia Debates Fortune-Telling Ban at The Tarot Room.

meta