Houston ban on annoying ‘goo-goo eyes’

March 30, 2014

I kid you not — an ordinance enacted in 1905, though since repealed:

[H]ereafter any male person in the City of Houston who shall stare at, or make what is commonly called “goo-goo eyes” at, or in any other manner look at or make remarks to or concerning, or cough or whistle at, or do any other act to attract the attention of any woman or female person upon or traveling along any of the sidewalks, streets or public ways of the City of Houston, with the intent or in a manner calculated to annoy, or to attempt to flirt with any such woman or female person, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof in the Corporation Court of the City of Houston, shall be fined in any sum not exceeding One Hundred Dollars….

Passed by the City Council, September 5th, 1905.

Ordinances banning flirting remain on the books in some cities, but I could find no current “goo-goo eyes” ban.

Eugene Volokh teaches free speech law, religious freedom law, church-state relations law, a First Amendment Amicus Brief Clinic, and tort law, at UCLA School of Law, where he has also often taught copyright law, criminal law, and a seminar on firearms regulation policy.
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