Does this image appear illegally obscene?
Virginia Beach police seem to think so, and they've confiscated the promotional posters and cited the manager of the store. The manager could face thousands of dollars in fines AND prison time for the innocuous display.
Police, saying they were responding to citizen complaints, carted away two large promotional photographs from the Abercrombie & Fitch store in Lynnhaven Mall on Saturday and cited the manager on obscenity charges.
Adam Bernstein, a police spokesman, said the seizure and the issuance of the summons came only after store management had not heeded warnings to remove the images.
The citation was issued under City Code Section 22.31, Bernstein said, which makes it a crime to display "obscene materials in a business that is open to juveniles." He did not say what was being done with the pictures and when the manager, whose name was not released, is scheduled to appear in court.
According the the Supreme Court ruling in Roth v. United States, the standard for judging obscenity is "whether to the average person, applying contemporary community standards, the dominant theme of the material, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest."
Applying "contemporary community standards" in this day and age, the image above is far from obscene. However, by applying the criterion of an aggressive, non-secular minority subculture, it would be easy to see how the photographs might, whether justly or unjustly, offend.
Me thinks Virginia Beach has fallen under the politically correct standard imposed by self-appointed morality arbitrators. Can anyone say "dhimmitude"?