NAC Advisory
California Topfree
November 09, 2005

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                     NATURIST ACTION COMMITTEE
                             ADVISORY
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                   http://www.naturistaction.org
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 Copyright 2005 by the Naturist Action Committee, which is responsible
 for its content. Permission is granted for the posting, forwarding or
 redistribution of this message, provided that it is reproduced in its
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DATE:    November 09, 2005
SUBJECT: California topfree
TO:      All Naturists and other concerned citizens

Dear Naturist,

Two women were arrested earlier this week for being topfree as part of a political protest on the grounds of the California State Capitol in Sacramento. That incident and events surrounding it have caught the attention of naturists throughout North America.

Of particular interest have been statements made to the press by California State Senator Gloria Romero (D-Los Angeles). Sen. Romero has indicated her intent to introduce legislation addressing a perception of gender-based unequal treatment under the California law prohibiting indecent exposure.

The Naturist Action Committee (NAC) appreciates your concern over the arrest of the women and your enthusiasm at learning of a sympathetic lawmaker. However, NAC recognizes that it is premature at this point to mount a support campaign for a legislative measure that hasn't even been drafted.


NO ACTION IS REQUESTED AT THIS TIME

NAC is not requesting that you take action at the present time. More to the point, NAC is specifically asking you NOT to contact California State Senator Gloria Romero until more detail is known about the legislation she's considering.


DISCUSSION

Here is a simplified analysis of existing California law as it applies to indecent exposure and female breasts:

   1. Penal Code 314.1 (indecent exposure) prohibits exposure of "private parts" for the purpose of sexual gratification or with intent to cause sexual affront.

   2. Female (or male) breasts have never been found to be the "private parts" whose exposure are within the scope of P.C. 314.1.

   3. Simple nudity without a sexual element and without an intent to cause sexual alarm or affront does not constitute indecent exposure. (
In re Smith 7 Cal. 3d, 362. See Also People v. Archer 98 Cal.App 4th 402.)

It's true that a handful of state authorities made outrageous threats before the political protest. Those threats included the possibility that a woman exposing her breast might face conviction as a sex offender. Like those threats, the indecent exposure charges actually filed against the women resulted from an improper application of existing law.

NAC has conferred with the attorney for the women who were arrested on Monday. Unsurprisingly, the indecent exposure charges will likely be dropped. Other charges included disorderly conduct and violating the terms of the protest permit. It seems probable that those charges will be dropped too.


WHAT'S NEXT?

Unclear at this time is whether a revision to the California state law will actually make things better for naturists - or worse.

Fresh in the minds of many NAC activists is a non-naturist effort in California just last year that was ostensibly aimed at assuring the legality of topfree recreation in State Parks. However, it became quickly apparent that an unintended consequence of that effort would likely have been the end to full nudity in existing clothing-optional State Park areas like San Onofre.

NAC is in contact with the office of Sen. Romero and intends to work with the lawmaker to make certain that any proposed legislation is carefully considered for all its potential impacts.

Watch for NAC Action Alerts, Advisories and Updates on this issue.


PLEASE HELP NAC HELP NATURISTS!

The Naturist Action Committee is a volunteer nonprofit organization that exists to advance and protect the rights of naturists throughout North America. Protecting freedom is expensive, and unlike other organizations, NAC has no membership roster on which to assess dues. NAC relies entirely on the voluntary generosity of supporters like you.

To donate to NAC online with your MasterCard, Visa or Discover Card, go to:
www.naturistaction.org/donate/

Or you can use the address below, or call toll free (800) 886-7230 to donate by phone.

  NAC
  PO Box 132
  Oshkosh, WI 54903
 

Thank you for choosing to make a difference!

Naturally,

Don Stanton
Allen Baylis

Board Members
Naturist Action Committee

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Naturist Action Committee (NAC) - PO Box 132, Oshkosh, WI 54903
Executive Dir. Bob Morton       - <execdir@naturistaction.org>
Board Member Don Stanton       - <dfs1@comcast.net>
Board Member Allen Baylis      - <rab@baylislaw.com>
Online Rep. Dennis Kirkpatrick  - <naturist@sunclad.com>
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