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Arizona laws stagger the mind

October 5, 2016
By Joyce Schenk , Westfield Republican

While browsing through the morning newspaper recently, I came across an article focused on some of the weird and wacky laws that have been passed in the state of Arizona.

I had to read the piece twice before I could believe it was based on reality.

The only conclusion I could draw was that the sun in that part of the country is so intense it simply fries the brains of those whose job it is to pass the state's laws.

Here are some of the examples I came across that govern the lives of the folks in Arizona.

If you are a hunter, you'll be disappointed to learn it's unlawful to hunt camels in the state.

Animal lovers are prohibited from allowing their donkeys to sleep in the bathtub.

In Tucson, women may not wear pants.

And, on the subject of clothing, Nogales has an ordinance prohibiting the wearing of suspenders.

In Tombstone, Arizona, it's illegal for men or women over 18 to have less than one missing tooth visible when smiling.

And, to restore some common sense to the legal system, the state has declared it unlawful to refuse a person a glass of water.

But, these strange statutes pale in comparison to recent statements coming from the Arizona Supreme Court.

The Court equated diaper changing to child molestation.

In response, social media took up the provocative discussion. The results left parents nervous.

It seems a Tucson man appealed his conviction of child molestation and child sex abuse, claiming the law was too vague.

Two of the justices held that "any kind of deliberate sexual contact is considered child molestation and does not require proof of sexual intent."

The dissenting justices said "that means parents literally commit a felony every time they bathe a toddler or change a diaper."

Parents voicing their opinions on the law as it is written say it would criminalize the help they count on from babysitters and day care providers.

Although the Legislature admitted it was not likely that any prosecution would result on the basis of the law, the discussion didn't stop the outcry across social media about parents and babysitters possibly facing arrest in an innocent situation.

I don't know how the folks in Arizona will finally solve this difficult child-care problem.

But, here in our little corner of the world, I think we can all agree that NOT bathing a baby or changing its diapers would definitely constitute child molestation.

My advice for the poor confused folks in Arizona: Stay out of that sun. When it comes to logical thinking, the air conditioner is your friend.



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