Saturday, March 01, 2008

Italian court bans crotch-grabbing

The Italian supreme court has outlawed men from touching their genitals in public.

Crotch-grabbing is an ancient superstitious habit in Italy that is believed to ward off the evil eye.

It's traditional for men to do it if passed by a hearse or when discussing serious illness or disasters.

However, the supreme court ruled that a 42-year-old man from Como had broken the law by "ostentatiously touching his genitals through his clothing".

His lawyers said he had a "compulsive, involuntary movement" because of uncomfortable overalls.

But the court ruled his behaviour was an "act contrary to public decency" and said the law "required everyone to abstain from conduct that is potentially offensive to collectively held feelings of decorum".

The man was fined £1520 and ordered to pay £760 in costs, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Judges pointed out that if men needed to grab their crotches, they should wait until they were in the privacy of their own home.

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