FREDERICK, Md. - Frederick County officials have passed an ordinance making English the official language of county government.
The Board of County Commissioners voted 4-1 for the measure Tuesday after a nearly three-hour meeting. It requires official actions of Frederick County to be taken only in English.
However, there are many exceptions. For example, other languages can be used to protect public health and public safety; to protect the rights of criminal defendants; and to promote trade and tourism.
Board President Blaine Young has said the ordinance would help deter illegal immigrants from settling in Frederick County. Opponents say it brands the county as unfriendly and xenophobic.
The county commissioners proclaimed English the county's official language in 2008. Proponents have said the ordinance will have more staying power.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Top music stars are battling for your summer concert tour dollars.
Which big cat had some trouble coughing this up? (Photos)
Doctors saved this boy's life with a medical first involving a printer.
Clothes have a starring role at the Cannes Film Festival. (Photos)