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CCRH PRESENTS: AMERICAN GYPSY
Primary Documents
New Jersey Bill |

Although there are no longer laws on the books in the United States which directly name Roma or Gypsies, some local codes are still in place that many say are targeted directly at Roma populations. In fact, the city of Spokane passed a municipal code on May 14, 1984 that makes it illegal to engage in fortunetelling, palmistry, or clairvoyance for money-making purposes.

A similar law in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho was passed in 1957, although it is unclear whether or not that law is still in place. The Spokesman-Review reported on February 27, 2001 that the city council was considering repealing that code. In that article, the Spokesman-Review related that some council members were hesitant to repeal the law, and quoted one as saying, "My concern is the groups that we used to refer to as Gypsies."

Title 10 Regulation of Activities
Division I Penal Code
Chapter: 10.19 Miscellaneous Offenses
Listing 10.19.020 Vagrancy.

No person may:

A: ask for or receive compensation, gratuity, or reward for practicing fortunetelling, palmistry, or clairvoyance;
B: keep premises where lost or stolen property is concealed;
C: solicit money or anything of value on public property without a license as provided in Chapter 10.42; or
D: lodge in any building or vehicle without the permission of the owner or other person in possession.

(Ord. C-27431)

Effective Date: 6/13/1984

Passed On: 5/14/1984