September 2, 2014
Brussels, Belgium, wants everyone to be nice. And if not, it's going to cost you.
"Any form of insult is from now on [is] punishable, whether it be racist, homophobic or otherwise," Brussels Mayor Freddy Thielemans' spokesperson quoted him as saying, according to the Telegraph.
ABC News reports, fines will range between 75 and 250 euros for using offensive language or sexually harassing someone in public, officials said.
Mayor Thielemans said the new fines encourage officers to take action over offensive public behavior that previously went ignored because it was never prosecuted. Thielemans said police officers "had little incentive to take any action over such incidents."
In June, Middleborough, Mass., passed a measure that slaps people caught cursing in public with a $20 fine.
"It's mainly for aggressive behavior or verbal assault of someone who's a distance away from you," said Mimi Duphily, a 63-year-old resident. "It's really just about when it rises above what is acceptable behavior."