- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 26, 2014

FRONT ROYAL, Va. (AP) - Tarot card readings and magic are no longer illegal in Front Royal.

Town Council voted Monday to repeal a decades-old ban on fortunetellers. The ordinance also banned the practice of “magic arts” and roving “gypsies, The Northern Virginia Daily (https://bit.ly/VPezIq) reported.

Monday’s vote followed a public comment period that drew nearly 30 speakers. More than half the speakers asked the council to repeal the ordinance. Opponents said the ban should remain on the books.

Sherl Johnson said the council should fear God’s wrath if they repealed the ban.

“If you vote to keep the pagans and their corrupt ways out, you can be sure it will be taken to court by them,” Johnson said.

“It’s also possible you’ll lose your political career and it will come to an end. But that is not what you should fear because those things are temporary and will only last for a moment.”

Melissa Sylvan, who said she has Romani heritage, addressed the use of the word “gypsy” in the ordinance.

“So what I want to know is does this mean it’s illegal for me to walk down Main Street?” Sylvan said. “Is my very existence against the law?”

Vandals spray-painted the windows of two storefronts on Main Street prior to the vote. Front Royal police attributed the vandalism to the dispute over the ordinance.

“It’s unfortunate that individuals would make these businesses a victim of vandalism due to a conflict over religious belief,” police Sgt. Crystal Cline told the newspaper. “Everybody has their own opinion. You can protest but you should do it in peace.”

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Information from: Northern Virginia Daily.


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