PacSun T-shirts not indecent, legally

2014-03-08T04:15:00Z 2014-03-26T09:38:56Z PacSun T-shirts not indecent, legallyGenelle Pugmire - Daily Herald Daily Herald
March 08, 2014 4:15 am  • 

OREM -- Orem City will not file charges against PacSun for displaying risque T-shirts in their display windows at the University Mall.

The decision came after a complaint filed by Orem resident Judy Cox with the department of public safety.

Cox received international attention when she purchased all the T-shirts in the mall store in PacSun's new Visual line of shirts. The shirts have photos of scantily clad women, some in provocative poses, and in Cox's opinion unsuitable for wearing or displaying.

She paid more than $550 for the shirts and expects to return them before the 60-day return policy is up.

On Tuesday, the city council will be briefed on the matter during its 5 p.m. work session. The city has received a number of inquiries as to how it would proceed on the matter.

"The decision was made based on existing law and precedence of existing law," said Jamie Davidson, city manager. "People may find things in society morally objectionable that may not be illegal."

The council will hear what those legal grounds are and the balance between moral or community standard as set forth in city, state and federal codes.

Cox said her reasoning for taking out the shirts was simple: The photos screened on the shirts were inappropriate and were an offense to the community standards. For Cox there was no hesitation, minors -- or anyone for that matter -- should not be exposed to indecent materials.

In a Daily Herald unscientific online survey more than 50 percent of those participating believed young men should have the right to purchase the shirts.

Since her bold action, hundreds of news agencies have run her story. She has been offered money to help pay for the shirts and she has been given kudos for her moral character and quick action. Several nonprofit agencies also have praised her for speaking her conscience.

Cox said there are also many organizations that support young women in understanding that their beauty and worth are not based on the highly sexualized images in the media and in our culture.

"This message needs to be shared with our young girls everywhere," Cox said. "It was for these children and youth I made a stand. I hope you will as well."

While members of the city council may support Cox in her decision and moral fortitude, they may not be able to do much for her and others to change the law. Both the Utah and U.S. Supreme Courts have ruled in similar cases that although such displays may not conform to an individual's value system, they are not illegal.

-- Genelle Pugmire covers Provo City, Provo School District, Orem City, UDOT’s I-15 CORE Project. She also tackles variety of other topics including business features. You can contact Genelle at

Read more from Genelle Pugmire here.

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