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  • Laws against public nudity

    Based on what I have read, here are some variations across jurisdictions of laws against public nudity.

    1. Simple nudity.
    2. Nudity associated with disorderly conduct.
    3. Nudity that causes offence to an individual.
    4. Nudity that causes offence to the community.
    5. Nudity that was intended to cause offence.
    6. Nudity accompanied by lewd behavior.

    I have ordered them from least appropriate to most appropriate, as I see it.

    Re #1, I'm certain that the courts will eventually agree that simple public nudity should not be illegal, because there is nothing inherently wrong with display of the naked human body.

    Re #2, the disorderly conduct could relate to the nude person or to the viewers of the nude person.

    #4 is a fairer than #3, because #3 gives too much attention to the opinion of one person. Anyone can be offended by anything.

    Re #5, it would be better to reword this be "intended to threaten or harass".

    Re #6, it would be more appropriate to delete the reference to nudity and focus on the behavior.

    I think that the minimum in law should be #4. However, I think that it would be better if the minimum was #6 (redefined to exclude the reference to nudity), with #4 and #5 being handled by social pressure/censure.

    What do you think?

    Gary

  • #2
    Based on what I have read, here are some variations across jurisdictions of laws against public nudity.

    1. Simple nudity.
    2. Nudity associated with disorderly conduct.
    3. Nudity that causes offence to an individual.
    4. Nudity that causes offence to the community.
    5. Nudity that was intended to cause offence.
    6. Nudity accompanied by lewd behavior.

    I have ordered them from least appropriate to most appropriate, as I see it.

    Re #1, I'm certain that the courts will eventually agree that simple public nudity should not be illegal, because there is nothing inherently wrong with display of the naked human body.

    Re #2, the disorderly conduct could relate to the nude person or to the viewers of the nude person.

    #4 is a fairer than #3, because #3 gives too much attention to the opinion of one person. Anyone can be offended by anything.

    Re #5, it would be better to reword this be "intended to threaten or harass".

    Re #6, it would be more appropriate to delete the reference to nudity and focus on the behavior.

    I think that the minimum in law should be #4. However, I think that it would be better if the minimum was #6 (redefined to exclude the reference to nudity), with #4 and #5 being handled by social pressure/censure.

    What do you think?

    Gary

    Comment


    • #3
      I think that 1, 3 & 4 should not exist. Nos. 3 & 4 are very subject to interpretation, and, as you pointed out, # 1 should not be. No. 1 would outlaw even art figure studies.

      Ralph

      Comment


      • #4
        Gary,

        You've missed one out - and for me it's where the law should step in, namely:

        Nudity in public view knowing that it is likely that others will see you who may be caused alarm or distress.

        Our Parliament would baulk at the idea of stating that simple nudity in public was a lawful act. We are, unfortunately, cursed with one or two rather idiotic judges who are so remote from ordinary working people that they probably think the rest of us all walk around in bear hides when not naked so they might think public nudity was acceptable in modern society. Luckily most wouldn't!

        Stu

        Comment


        • #5
          While our new governor in CA is not a nudist, he is certainly not anti-nude. This may be a golden opportunity to have someone more friendly to clothing optional recreation in Sacramento.

          Some things may require the cooperation of the state legislature to get through but state park regulations are entirely within his control. It may be much easier now to get official recognition of traditionally nude areas on state land.

          Comment


          • #6
            That would be nice, but I'm not going to hold my breath. He's going to be far too busy dealing with California's budget catastrophe.

            Beyond that, I think what will really matter is the attitude of whoever ends up in charge of the state parks. Even Gray Davis, a classic micromanger, didn't get involved in the minutia of park regulations. Our new governor elect seems to be more of big picture leader who will leave the details to others.

            Comment


            • #7
              stu, your examople would fall in with #3 and #4.

              Bob S.

              Comment


              • #8
                Bob,

                Not exactly. I Gary's example actual offence would have to be proved. In mine a likelihood of offence being caused would be sufficient.

                Example: Policeman sees naked person walking down a pathway in a park. No-one else is about. Policeman knows that a party of schoolchildren and a group of elderly women are in the park further along the path. In Gary's examples the policeman would be powerless to act until actual offence was caused. In mine he could prevent such offence.

                Stu

                Comment


                • #9
                  quote:
                  Originally posted by NudeAl:
                  [qb] The city of Chico, California today narrowly defeated a proposed anti-nudity law. By a vote of 3-4 the city council defeated the ordinance which was directed at mere nudity to prevent nude sunbathing in a city park. The park in question has a history of skinny dipping and nude sunbathing. This means that the current style of enforcement will continue. The only way they prosecute now is if there is obvious lewd behavior or a person makes a formal complaint. In the last several years there has only been one of these. The Naturist Action Committee was instrumental in getting this piece of legislation defeated. There is no state law prohibiting nudity in our state nor is there a federal law prohibiting it. Only local ordinances like this one. Hurray for our side!! [/qb]

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    quote:
                    Originally posted by stu2630:
                    [qb] Bob,

                    Not exactly. I Gary's example actual offence would have to be proved. In mine a likelihood of offence being caused would be sufficient.

                    Example: Policeman sees naked person walking down a pathway in a park. No-one else is about. Policeman knows that a party of schoolchildren and a group of elderly women are in the park further along the path. In Gary's examples the policeman would be powerless to act until actual offence was caused. In mine he could prevent such offence.

                    Stu [/qb]
                    But he doesn't know if they would be offended until they actually are. He can't prevent something that might not even happen and he can't assume something he doesn't know.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      cyndiann

                      "But he doesn't know if they would be offended until they actually are. He can't prevent something that might not even happen and he can't assume something he doesn't know"

                      Of course he can, and must, make assumptions. This situation could apply to any behaviour that causes offence. The sight of a group of people having an orgy might not actually cause offence but I would not expect a police officer to ignore such a thing until people were actually offended. Here in the UK the police are expected to protect people BEFORE they suffer injury or offence, not let it happen first and then do something.

                      Stu

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        quote:
                        Originally posted by stu2630:
                        [qb] cyndiann
                        ...Here in the UK the police are expected to protect people BEFORE they suffer injury or offence, not let it happen first and then do something. Stu [/qb]
                        Stu,

                        It sounds like you would have loved living in Nazi Germany or even Red China today. Those nations were and are first class at "protecting" people before any crime was ever committed. The last thing on earth I want is police who arrest people because the police officer thinks that person "might" commit a crime. Why wait that long - just decide that anyone who refuses to goose step wearing what clothes you think necessary be locked away forever. That will sure take care of any problems with nudist or anyone else who thinks freedom means just that, the right to be free.
                        But thanks for the information Stu. If what you say is true, it will be a cold day in hell before I ever set foot in the UK.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Frank,

                          Same thing in the USA or Canada..

                          If you doubt..just walk to your nearest 7-11 and see what happens..

                          People don't have the right to do all they want if it impacts others..

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            It is true that anyone in the US or Canada would be arrested if they walked naked down a busy street. But some of us are idealistic enough to wonder if they should be. And some radicals are idealistic enough to challenge the laws they see as unjust and oppressive.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              "Minority Report" is alive and well. In that movie, Tom Cruise played a special investigator in a future society where he would get reports on crimes that are going to be committed in the future and then goes out to stop the crime from taking place by arresting the offender before the crime.

                              So what would Mr. Policeman do in that situation? Is it an arrestable offence? Or would he just warn the naked man that others were coming (which sounds much better)?

                              And what if said parties ahead are actually members of a nudist resort? Mr. Policeman would then have no reason to act as he is protecting no one. Also, what if he went into the path knowing that it is rarely used and it was a rainy day? There would be very little likelyhood of him coming across anyone else.

                              In your law, there is no crime committed as there is no victim. This is the ultimate thought crime, one where the thoughts are being taken from the non-existent victim. This law would be easily abused.

                              Bob S.

                              Comment

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