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Communities Battle Over the 'Right to Hang'

"If my husband has a right to have guns in the house, I have a right to hang laundry."

So says Carin Froehlich of Perkasie, Penn., who likes to hang her laundry to dry on clotheslines strung between trees outside her home. Her small town, however, does not like it so much, and she has had requests from a town official and at least two anonymous neighbors that she keep her laundry to herself. "They said it made the place look like trailer trash. They said they didn't want to look at my 'unmentionables.'"

Reuters reports that this "right to hang" debate is popping up more and more often in the U.S. Already, six states (Florida, Utah, Maine, Vermont, Colorado, and Hawaii) have passed laws restricting the rights of  residents to use clotheslines, and another five states are considering similar measures.

Citizens fighting for the right to hang actually have a lobbying group of sorts. "Project Laundry List" is a nonprofit organization with the stated mission of "making air-drying and cold-water washing laundry acceptable and desirable as simple and effective ways to save energy." Among it recent accomplishments, PLL says, it has helped obtain legislation reversing the clothesline ban in Colorado, and prompted clothesline legislation debate in states including Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, Nebraska, Oregon, Virginia and Vermont. 

Check out the CBS News video report below on the "right to hang" controversy.

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Posted by Bruce Carton on November 19, 2009 at 03:18 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)


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