Hattiesburg City Council opens the door to fortune tellers

Published: Dec. 6, 2011 at 9:01 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 6, 2011 at 10:45 PM CST
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HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - It should come as no surprise to local psychics. For the first time in almost 100 years those who claim to have the second sight will be able to set up a fortune telling business with in city limits.

"The rescinding of the order will take effect in about 90 days," said Hattiesburg City Council Kim Bradley.

Those 90 days will give the city time to figure out zoning for such an establishment.

"They will be subject when this ordinance comes back to meet the zoning requirements that will be in place," said Bradley.

Which means Hattiesburg will join neighboring cities like Laurel, Petal and Meridian who do not prohibit fortune telling, but approve the business based on proper zoning. Bradley says the judge's ruling on the couples lawsuit against the city is why the council is changing it.

"As we know, it is prohibiting them their freedom of speech, and probably a long time over due in coming off our books. When the court told us or when we were made aware of the suit, then obviously we had to react or act to allow them to be here," said Bradley.

Speaking of freedom of speech, WDAM facebook followers gave their opinion on the matter. The debate quickly turned to religion, which is the motivation Bradley gave for its original restriction.

"Well, we are in the bible belt, and back in the 1920s I'm sure the Baptist and the Methodist got together, and didn't want to have that influence in the community. We are all God fearing people here in Hattiesburg, Mississippi," said Bradley.

Bradley says he trusts the free market will decide whether fortune telling has a home in Hattiesburg.

"There is all kind of people out there doing business and doing different things. To me its not really a big deal. I don't believe I'm going to spend my money over there, and try to have my fortune told. I don't believe in that, but I'm sure it will offend some people," said Bradley.

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