Parents in California say they’ve been shocked by New York state’s new ban on wearing “graphic” clothing.
The ban, which went into effect July 1, will make it illegal to wear clothing that shows off the genitals, breasts or buttocks of children under the age of 12.
It applies to clothing, including T-shirts, hoodies, shorts, sweatshirts, pants and caps.
But for parents in New York, it’s been more than a year since their son, Dante, who has Down syndrome, first began wearing the clothes.
He wore a T-shirt that showed the front of his head in a bikini.
The shirt was on sale in a clothing store in Manhattan.
When Dante told his mother, “I’m going to be 13, I want to wear the bikini,” his mother says she said, “No, you can’t.”
Dante, a 10-year-old boy, had been wearing a T shirt that showed his nipples and a girl’s bottom in a bathing suit in public, but his mother was not amused.
Dante’s parents are fighting the ban in court, arguing that it violates Dante’s First Amendment right to free speech.
They are asking a judge to block the ban.
“The idea that the parents of Dante would be able to impose their own viewpoint on this is outrageous,” said attorney Daniel W. Shapiro, who is representing the family in their lawsuit.
The suit is the latest to take on the issue of what constitutes “gore” in clothing.
In October, a Connecticut judge ruled that a California law that prohibits “glorious depictions” of nudity violated the First Amendment, including sexual assault and racial discrimination.
Last month, a federal appeals court overturned a California ban on so-called “gothic” clothing and said the state was violating Dante’s right to freedom of expression.