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  • Nudity Laws By U.S. State

    I have a question: I have seen the various links regarding what states it's legal to be nude in or clothing-optional, but I can't make sense of it. Can we make this thread continue on and on so that all states/Canadian territories and other countries laws are explained? In other words, what states/countries/territories is it legal to be nude outside? Suppose I am on public hunting land in Minnesota. Is it legal?

  • #2
    Following is from http://naturistaction.org/StatesProv...es/states.html

    617.23 Indecent exposure; penalties.

    Subdivision 1. Misdemeanor. A person who commits any of the following acts in any public place, or in any place where others are present, is guilty of a misdemeanor:

    (1) willfully and lewdly exposes the person's body, or the private parts thereof;

    (2) procures another to expose private parts; or

    (3) engages in any open or gross lewdness or lascivious behavior, or any public indecency other than behavior specified in this subdivision.

    Subd. 2. Gross misdemeanor. A person who commits any of the following acts is guilty of a gross misdemeanor:

    (1) the person violates subdivision 1 in the presence of a minor under the age of 16; or

    (2) the person violates subdivision 1 after having been previously convicted of violating subdivision 1, sections 609.342 to 609.3451, or a statute from another state in conformity with any of those sections.

    Subd. 3. Felony. A person is guilty of a felony and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than five years or to payment of a fine of not more than $10,000, or both, if:

    (1) the person violates subdivision 2, clause (1), after having been previously convicted of or adjudicated delinquent for violating subdivision 2, clause (1); section 609.3451, subdivision 1, clause (2); or a statute from another state in conformity with subdivision 2, clause (1), or section 609.3451, subdivision 1, clause (2); or

    (2) the person commits a violation of subdivision 1, clause (1), in the presence of another person while intentionally confining that person or otherwise intentionally restricting that person's freedom to move.

    Subd. 4. Breastfeeding. It is not a violation of this section for a woman to breast feed.

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    • #3
      Well that's cleared that up then!!!!!!!

      Far too vague, it leaves the interpretation of "wilfully and lewdly" open to all kinds of 'opinion' and as we know there are those out there that believe any kind of nudity is morally unacceptable, whereas if I were the presiding judge I would view it entirely differently.

      I presume there are guidelines to prevent personal viewpoints from clouding any judgement!!

      In the UK the SOA 2003 was introduced to try to remove any ambiguity in the existing laws, they were the result of using any description other than saying penis, or genitals (They are naughty words after all!!!). Our police still have trouble with knowing which law is current and those that have been repealed, but at least the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) is able to decide what cases to take to court or not.

      Its really sad that whilst nudity 'per se' is not illegal, a police officer can ask someone to cover up and if they refuse the officer arrests them on a public order charge, heads they win, tails we lose.

      Pete Knight

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      • #4
        I could not agree with you more Pete. The California law reads the same way, very vaque with the use of the words "willfull" and "lewd". Also, law permits individual cities within the state to pass laws that can ban nudity instead of following state law that, even though vaque, does not outright ban nudity.

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        • #5
          In Florida...it depends on what COUNTY you are in more than anything else (even if you are on federal land).

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          • #6
            Reading the laws is of very limited use. You also need to know the customary practices of law enforcement, procedural rules (like California's Cahill Policy or Vermont's Leahy guidelines), and most especially court precedent.

            There is not a state in America that has passed a law making Topfreedom legal, but in New York, Ohio, Washington D.C. and a number of other places it IS legal because the courts have ruled that breasts are not genitals, or "private parts", or that the statutes that make exposure of the female breast but not the male breast illegal is void under that State's equal protection or equal rights laws.

            At one time a researcher attempted to do a state by state survey of not only the statutes, but the how they actually applied for the rec.nude faq. It was a monumental and incomplete task, long since out of date and abandoned.

            -Mark

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Naturist Mark:
              Reading the laws is of very limited use. You also need to know the customary practices of law enforcement, procedural rules (like California's Cahill Policy or Vermont's Leahy guidelines), and most especially court precedent.
              If our nudist activity were to create a disturbance, even if we aren't the ones causing the trouble, we could probably still get charged with disorderly conduct or something similar. The behavior of the people we encounter can determine whether we get in trouble or not.

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              • #8
                not only is it vague but it talks about "private" parts. Who is to say what is private to who? For me I could care less about my genitals,, I just don't want anyone to see my ears

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by gymnoboi:
                  not only is it vague but it talks about "private" parts. Who is to say what is private to who? For me I could care less about my genitals,, I just don't want anyone to see my ears
                  Which explains the hat, huh?

                  Seriously, though. Lewd conduct and everything else . . . suppose a person is just hiking nude. Is this lewd conduct? I can understand if a guy has an erection and is masturbating or a woman is masturbating herself, but . . . where's the line? I'm sure I'll learn this when I attend law school in a couple years.


                  Pete

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                  • #10
                    Vermont actually has No Law banning Public Nudity. There are a couple of towns up there where one could walk down Main St. (and many do) totally naked. Every summer it becomes an issue, but always goes away once the weather cools off.

                    All laws are vague for a reason. If it was black and white, we would not need attorneys LOL So yes, Interpretation Is the Big Part
                    Last edited by VTNudist; 06-23-2010, 12:46 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Digger1799:
                      Vermont actually has No Law banning Public Nudity. There are a couple of towns up there where one could walk down Main St. (and many do) totally naked. Every summer it becomes an issue, but always goes away once the weather cools off.

                      All laws ar evague for a reason. If it was black and white, we would not need attorneys LOL So yes, Interpertation Is the Big Part
                      California has no law against nudity per-se either, as the recent Huntington Beach story points out. Neither does Washington or a bunch of other states. However, many local prudes arrest and fine people for simple nudity claiming that just being nude is "lewd conduct." The Seatte Naked Bike Ride was a recent example.

                      Often it's not the law, its the puritan enforcement that is the real problem when going naked. Just hiking nude is not lewd under numerous court decisions, but sometimes that doesn't stop pruitan police state thugs from ruining your day.

                      Blessings
                      Bob

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by gymnoboi:
                        not only is it vague but it talks about "private" parts. Who is to say what is private to who? For me I could care less about my genitals,, I just don't want anyone to see my ears
                        Laungage is a real problem when we live with a web site that censors the very words in our native language that mean what we are talking about. We end up using euphamisms and other words not quite what we mean, as several people have pointed out recently. We can't use either of the "C" words, for example, which would clearly describe what we mean. Censors rule, even when bodies are said to be "acceptable," body words are not.

                        Blessings
                        Bob

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                        • #13
                          i just compiled a US map, color-coded by state law. how do i post it?

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                          • #14
                            kphoger, if the map is on your PC, go to the "Add Attachment?" link and add it. If it is online right now, click on the image (next to last button from left above this message box and add the url of the image.

                            Bob S.

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                            • #15
                              oh, i just tried, and it far exceeds the allowable file size. 847 instead of 150.

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