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NH legislators fight back at "Free the Nipple", want to criminalize topfreedom.

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  • #16
    You may be correct - still - be careful. Isn't there an outstanding charge against someone in Gilford?

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    • #17
      There were two ticketed (not arrested as reported in the news) in Gilford at a beach. Their hearing was last week but a ruling has yet to be decided. In Gilford the ordinance only covers the town beach, downtown would be legal.

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      • #18
        https://www.sltrib.com/news/nation-w...es-high-court/

        The cases that "seemed to be going in their favor".... the Gilford case was dismissed - but the plaintiffs were trying to make a point, I guess, and tried appealing.

        Whoever was in charge of this didn't seem to know the court system - you cannot appeal a charge to a higher court when there is no charge outstanding. It's what is called a "moot case" (look it up if you don't know what it means) and appeals courts do not hear moot cases. Did they have a lawyer? Or were they trying to do this on their own?

        Nonetheless - Laconia - did NOT drop their charges. Indications they were found guilty. The defendants wanted a day in court. They got one. They get their day in the NH Supreme Court on Feb 1. The NH ACLU did file an Amicus brief (friend of the court, defending the Laconia pair) - it goes on for 42 pages but skimming through it, it looks like they are arguing "equal rights".

        Whether they will provide actual legal counsel, or participate in the presentations on Feb. 1, it's not known.

        To rehash - in New Hampshire, women can go top-free on state property - the beaches. Towns , at least at present, can still pass ordinances against it.. This is the situation in Laconia.

        Although there WAS a bill to outlaw topfreedom on state property , and it was killed (basically, in a committee recommendation) - it did not address municipalities and whatever ordinances they pass and enforce. Some in here erroneously thought that it meant "women can now go topfree anywhere in New Hampshire" - NO. It did not mean that. It meant the status quo would be preserved, state property is one thing but if a town wants to regulate it on Main Street they can still do so by ordinance.

        Last but not least, guys, if you travel to New Hampshire next summer, don't expect to see many women top-free on the beaches here. Although it's legal, it hasn't caught on as part of the culture in New Hampshire and Maine (where it's also legal).
        Last edited by usuallylurk; 01-15-2018, 08:22 AM.

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        • #19
          Again your legal advice is somewhat lacking. Since the statewide attempt at regulating topfreedom for any sex failed to become law, there is no (state) law defining where a person of any sex may go topfree. That means anyone can be legally topfree anywhere in the state. There are two known ordinances that disagree, Gilford and Laconia. Since NH is a home-run state, towns only have a right to pass rules the state allows them to. These ordinances are unconstitutional. There is a large group systematically challenging those unconstitutional ordinances. Meanwhile the rest of the state IS in fact, topfree legal, anywhere.
          Last edited by natureboy1776; 01-23-2018, 06:57 AM. Reason: To correct the misuse of the word gender.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by natureboy1776 View Post
            Again your legal advice is somewhat lacking.
            OK, you don't respect my opinion, you have a right to disagree with me. Whatever...

            Since the statewide attempt at regulating topfreedom for any gender failed to become law, there is no (state) law defining where a person of any gender may go topfree. That means anyone can be legally topfree anywhere in the state
            Uh, no. Uh, not exactly. The failure of the law to pass means that THE STATE can't pass any laws affecting STATE property.

            . There are two known ordinances that disagree, Gilford and Laconia.
            Yes, that's what I've been saying all along.

            Since NH is a home-run state, towns only have a right to pass rules the state allows them to.

            And the state has not yet said that towns cannot pass such ordinances on non-state property.


            These ordinances are unconstitutional.
            So you think / have been told/ rallied about. ! OK, but seriously, that's what the COURT will be weighing over in February. They're appealing in the Laconia case. But that's your opinion. Mine and yours don't count. It's up to the Supreme Court of the state of New Hampshire to rule on the constitutionality of these local ordinances. They have not done so yet. That's what the appeal is about.

            They haven't done so yet. Until they do - they're in force. When the state kicked out the "state property bill" - they specifically did not mention cities, towns, ordinances, etc.

            Otherwise your friends wouldn't have an appeal pending.

            There is a large group systematically challenging those unconstitutional ordinances. Meanwhile the rest of the state IS in fact, topfree legal, anywhere.
            You can cheer all you like. But until the ordinances are OVERTURNED by the court - AND THEY HAVE NOT BEEN AS OF THIS TIME, topfree isn't legal "just anywhere". Only on state property. Certainly not on others' private property. You can say something is unconstitutional - but it's up for the courts to decide that.

            Your saying "it's unconstitutional" doesn't make it so. No matter how many times you say it.

            Hopefully when the court hears arguments, you'll have some legal representation there. You're gonna need it.

            My question again, is the NH ACLU going to be providing counsel and arguments directly before the court, and representing the defendants? Or some other legal (lawyer) counsel? Otherwise - you're going to lose. This is not Judge Judy, this is the New Hampshire Supreme Court. Totally different forum.

            There is one thing in your favor - the NHSC agreed to hear the case. This means they're willing to listen to your side. But do be aware - just because you get to the state's highest court, and they hear your appeal - doesn't mean that victory is guaranteed. It means that there are valid legal points that have to be resolved one way - or the other way. Many petitioners fail, even if their cases get before the high courts.

            That all being said - I hope you win.
            Last edited by usuallylurk; 02-02-2018, 09:29 AM.

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            • #21
              Your saying "it's unconstitutional" doesn't make it so.
              NH state contitiution: [Art.] 2. [Natural Rights.] All men have certain natural, essential, and inherent rights - among which are, the enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing, and protecting, property; and, in a word, of seeking and obtaining happiness. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by this state on account of race, creed, color, sex or national origin. {emphasis added} https://www.nh.gov/constitution/billofrights.html
              June 2, 1784

              The state constitution (linked above) clearly prohibits the passing of any law within the state of NH that discriminates against one sex but not another. Thus unconstitutional. This is what broke the bills in 2016 and what will ultimately win the appeal. The NH state constitution is stronger on this subject than most.

              Uh, no. Uh, not exactly. The failure of the law to pass means that THE STATE can't pass any laws affecting STATE property.
              The lack of a law limiting ones right to do something means one has the right to do something.

              Bare-chestedness, toplessness, or Topfreedom is not included in the NH laws limiting nudity or any other state law. Therefore topfreedom is LEGAL anywhere it is not prohibited! That leaves any private property where it is POSTED to be prohibited, the town of Laconia, and Gilford's town beach as the only places in the entire state one can not be topfree. Note, Gilford actually only limited bare-chestedness on the town beach. One could be bare-chested on the lawn of the police station and not be restricted by the ordinance.
              This is not to say someone who appears female going topfree would not be hassled and possibly even falsely arrested, but that is when the court gets involved.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by natureboy1776 View Post
                NH state contitiution: [Art.] 2. [Natural Rights.] All men have certain natural, essential, and inherent rights - among which are, the enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing, and protecting, property; and, in a word, of seeking and obtaining happiness. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by this state on account of race, creed, color, sex or national origin. {emphasis added} https://www.nh.gov/constitution/billofrights.html
                June 2, 1784

                The state constitution (linked above) clearly prohibits the passing of any law within the state of NH that discriminates against one sex but not another. Thus unconstitutional. This is what broke the bills in 2016 and what will ultimately win the appeal. The NH state constitution is stronger on this subject than most.

                You have to hope that the NH Supreme Court shares your view. Hope your counsel, Mr. Hynes (I saw the docket) is a better debater than Ms. McGuinness (for the state). There is an amicus brief filed by the NH ACLU, but from all appearance, they may not be further involved.

                As I said, your interpretation and declaration may not agree with the one that the court might issue - and THAT'S the one that will count.



                The lack of a law limiting ones right to do something means one has the right to do something.
                Here you are wrong. Towns can pass ordinances, regulations, and so forth if they deem it necessary. It's the legality/Constitutionality of the ordinances that are in question.

                There may be no state law against spitting on the sidewalk, but a town can pass an ordinance and fine people for violations. (Simple example).

                Towns may pass ordinances against things that may not be illegal under state law; public drinking, parking on the street in winter, loitering, smoking in certain areas, etc. etc. On the other hand, a town can't say "no baseball caps permitted in town"....

                This may purely come down to a civil rights issue. We'll see. And while it might be fun to view this as a rallying point - you have to also be a REALIST.

                If you win, great. But you also have to be prepared to lose.

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                • #23
                  your interpretation and declaration may not agree with the one that the court might issue
                  True, that is possible, but the state agreed and stopped the 2016 bills cold and that is what might happen in the future not a fact of today.

                  Here you are wrong. Towns can pass ordinances, regulations, and so forth if they deem it necessary
                  The part I had wrong was the term I used. "homerun". I had that backward. NH is NOT a "Home Rule" state. NH is a "Dillon's Rule" state. As linked here

                  exp: "Dillon's Rule." It holds that municipal governments have only the powers expressly granted to them by the state legislature

                  The bills from 2016 tried and failed to give municipalities permission to discriminate against a specific sex in the matters of dress. Against article 2 of the State constitution, linked previously.

                  So in conclusion, In the absence of an unconstitutional ordinance (there are only two) and in the absence of a state law, it is legal to be topfree anywhere (else) in the state of NH. If a private property owner has a rule, that is still not a legal prohibition, but a facility rule.

                  Oh and congratulations on injecting a little life in this dead forum.

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                  • #24
                    Heard the tail end of the arguments (rebuttals) but will go back and listen to the whole thing when it's posted. I missed most of it (business meeting here).

                    The tail end of the argument from the Laconia side was that there are differences (men v. women) and there are notations in case law that allow for such ordinances; the side of those ticketed, the attorney again delved into civil rights / state constitution. He was challenged and asked a question by one of the justices.

                    Anyone can get to the New Hampshire Supreme Court site - and there should be an audio//video recording of the arguments.on there, some time soon. There are proceedings up there now, with their audio/video recordings that took place 31 January so I would guess today's hearings will be up there soon.

                    There were four justices on the bench - - the "Free Nipple" attorney is going to have to convince three of them to vote on his side. A 2-2 vote retains the status quo (upholds the ordinances).

                    And it usually takes a couple of months for the NHSC to rule on - I don't know what the New Hampshire term is, but "certiorari" cases like this.
                    Last edited by usuallylurk; 02-01-2018, 12:41 PM.

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                    • #25
                      Follow-up - it's out there now. I couldn't get the video to work but listened to the audio. Interesting, the justices seemed to rake BOTH lawyers over the coals.

                      Neither advocate was, shall I say, a Clarence Darrow or Perry Mason in there. The prosecutor seemed to be more intent on out-of-state cases, that conformed to the U.S. Constitution, the one on the FTN side treated it solely as an equal rights issue under the state Constitution and wanted to avoid "free expression" arguments. Both attorneys stumbled a bit over questions from the bench, but that's to be expected.
                      Last edited by usuallylurk; 02-02-2018, 09:32 AM.

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