NAC Action Alert
KANSAS HOUSE BILL 2779

February 16, 2004

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                     NATURIST ACTION COMMITTEE
                           ACTION ALERT
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                 http://www.naturistsociety.com/NAC/
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DATE:    February 16, 2004
SUBJECT: Kansas
TO:      Kansas Naturists

Dear Kansas Naturist,

The Naturist Action Committee has identified an important situation and is asking you to take immediate action. A bill filed in the Kansas legislature seeks to place nudity on the state's list of "sexually violent crimes." House Bill 2779 would require those convicted under the state's often misapplied anti-nudity law to register as sex offenders.

BACKGROUND

Kansas has no state statute criminalizing mere nudity in public (or as the U.S. Supreme Court has called it, "nudity without more"). However, that fact does not mean that instances of public nudity are exempt from state charges, prosecutions and convictions.

Under Kansas state law (Kansas Statutes Annotated 21-3508), "lewd and lascivious behavior" includes "publicly exposing a sex organ or exposing a sex organ in the presence of a person who is not the spouse of the offender and who has not consented thereto, with intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desires of the offender or another."

Although it would seem to most naturists that "lewd and lascivious" would not apply to mere nudity, the Naturist Action Committee has confirmed that K.S.A. 21-3508 is, in fact, the state statute used to charge and prosecute those who are merely nude.

A conviction under K.S.A. 21-3508 is a class B nonperson misdemeanor, unless the offense was committed in the presence of someone under the age of 16. Then it becomes a severity level 9, person felony. In cases involving nudity seen by a person under 18, those convicted under K.S.A. 21-3508 are presently labeled as sex offenders and required to register with the state.

House Bill 2779 would declare the offense to be a "sexually violent crime." Regardless of the age of any person who happened to view the nudity, all those convicted under K.S.A. 21-2508, even first-time offenders, would be required to register with the state as sex criminals.

WHAT IS NAC DOING?

The Naturist Action Committee has contacted Kansas lawmakers on this matter. NAC speakers will give testimony at a legislative hearing scheduled for this coming week.

NAC IS ASKING YOU TO TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION!

The Naturist Action Committee is asking RESIDENTS OF KANSAS to do the following two things:

  1) Contact lawmakers on the Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee of the Kansas House of Representatives. This NAC Action Alert includes contact information for lawmakers on the committee and suggestions for what to say when you call or write.

  
NOTE: Those who live outside Kansas
   are NOT being asked to contact Kansas
   lawmakers at this time.

  2) Attend a public hearing before the legislative committee considering HB 2779 this coming Thursday.

CONTACT THESE LAWMAKERS!

Time is short. Lawmakers on the Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee will be considering HB 2779 at a hearing this coming Thursday. NAC recommends that you send e-mails or faxes and follow your message with a phone call. Contact as many lawmakers from the committee as you can.

   House Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice

   Rep Ward Loyd (R-Garden City) Committee Chair
   E-mail: loyd@house.state.ks.us
   Phone: (785) 296-7655
   Fax: (785) 368-7517

   Rep. Thomas Owens (R-Overland Park) Vice Chair
   E-mail: owens@house.state.ks.us
   Phone: (785) 296-7685
   Fax: (785) 368-6365

   Rep. Eric Carter (R-Overland Park)
   E-mail: carter@house.state.ks.us
   Phone: (785) 296-7699
   Fax: (785) 368-6365

   Rep. Jeff Goering (R-Wichita)
   E-mail: goering@house.state.ks.us
   Phone: (785) 296-7641
   Fax: (785) 368-6365

   Rep. Lana Gordon (R-Topeka)
   E-mail: gordon@house.state.ks.us
   Phone: (785) 296-7652
   Fax: (785) 354-1940

   Rep. Deena Horst (R-Salina)
   E-mail: horst@house.state.ks.us
   Phone: (785) 296-7631
   Fax: (785) 368-6365

   Rep. Terrie Huntington (R-Mission Hills)
   E-mail: huntington@house.state.ks.us
   Phone: (785) 296-7667
   Fax: (785) 368-6365

   Rep. William Kassebaum (R-Burdick)
   E-mail: kassebaum@house.state.ks.us
   Phone: (785) 296-7663
   Fax: (785) 368-6365

   Rep. Edward O'Malley (R-Roeland Park)
   E-mail: omalley@house.state.ks.us
   Phone: (785) 296-7663
   Fax: (785) 368-6365

   Rep. Dale Swenson (R-Wichita)
   E-mail: swenson@house.state.ks.us
   Phone: (785) 296-7653
   Fax: (785) 368-6365

   Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Overland Park)
   E-mail: yoder@house.state.ks.us
   Phone: (785) 296-7663
   Fax: (785) 368-6365

   Rep. Jim Ward (D-Wichita)
   E-mail: ward@house.state.ks.us
   Phone: (785) 296-7651
   Fax: (785) 368-6365

   Rep. Sydney Carlin (D-Manhattan)
   E-mail: carlin@house.state.ks.us
   Phone: (785) 296-7650
   Fax: (785) 368-6365

   Rep. Marti Crow (D-Leavenworth)
   E-mail: crow@house.state.ks.us
   Phone: (785) 296-7673
   Fax: (785) 368-6365

   Nile Dillmore (D-Wichita)
   E-mail: dillmore@house.state.ks.us
   Phone: (785) 296-7647
   Fax: (785) 368-6365

   Rep. Oletha Faust-Goudeau (D-Wichita)
   E-mail: Faust-Goudeau@house.state.ks.us
   Phone: (785) 296-7669
   Fax: (785) 368-6365

   Rep. Janice Pauls (D-Hutchinson)
   E-mail: pauls@house.state.ks.us
   Phone: (785) 296-7657
   Fax: (785) 368-6365


WHAT TO SAY?

When you phone, fax or e-mail the lawmakers on the committee, NAC reminds you to be polite. The situation is frustrating, but we must make a positive impression with our contacts. Keep in mind that the Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee itself is the author of record for this bill. We must be persuasive without being combative.

If you call, ask to speak to the Representative by name, but expect that the lawmaker will not be available to take your call personally. That's okay. Leave your message with the legislative aide who is trained to handle such things on behalf of the lawmaker.

Whether you call or write, be sure to give your name and address. Anonymous calls and letters are generally ignored. If you are a constituent of the lawmaker you're contacting, be sure to say so. Contacts from constituents can be enormously important!

Say clearly that you OPPOSE HOUSE BILL 2779.

Keep your message brief. You may wish to consider the following points:

  1) Because Kansas law is often not enforced as it's written, otherwise innocent skinny-dippers and nude sunbathers risk being labeled as sex criminals if HB 2779 were to become law.

  2) The inappropriate use of the state's sex offender registry does not serve Kansas citizens well. When everyone knows that even skinny-dippers are to be added to the list, how seriously will they take the threat of others who are more legitimately made to register?

  3) A first offense misdemeanor is a sex crime for which one must register as a sex offender?

  4) No matter what one thinks of nudity, it is NOT a "violent" crime and should not labeled as such.

  5) Consider the damage of being labeled by the state as a registered sex offended. If HB 2779 were to become law, every person charged with a misdemeanor offense under K.S.A. 21-3508 would be put in a position of having to mount a legal defense as if their life depended on it! The burden on individuals and the Kansas court system is not proportionate to the offense.

NAC suggests that you conclude your contact with each lawmaker by asking specifically for a NO vote in the committee's consideration of House Bill 2779. Thank the lawmaker for his or her attention to this important matter.


ATTEND THE PUBLIC HEARING!

 
WHAT: Public hearing for House Bill 2779
 
WHEN: Thursday, February 19, 2004, 1:30 PM
 
WHERE: Kansas State Capitol, room 241-N

NAC will have personnel at the hearing who will testify in this matter. Of course, you are welcome to add your voice. But even if you choose not to speak, your presence at the hearing will be tremendously valuable in establishing the opposition to HB 2779. Plan to arrive a half hour early to coordinate with NAC volunteers. Meet in the corridor outside the hearing room.

For more information, please go to the web site of the Naturist Action Committee:

  www.naturistsociety.com/NAC

  Select "Alerts," then click on "View Current," to select and view this NAC Action Alert. Links will take you to additional information, including the complete text of HB 2779.


PLEASE HELP NAC HELP NATURISTS!

The Naturist Action Committee exists to advance and protect the rights of naturists throughout North America. Because we don't have a membership roster on which to assess dues, NAC relies on the voluntary generosity of its supporters.

Please help today by sending a donation of any size to NAC. If you contribute $20 or more, you will receive 12 free issues of The Newsletter as our token of appreciation. It's a great way to keep up to date on issues and events of importance to naturists.

To donate to NAC, use the address below, or call toll free (800) 886-7230 to donate by phone using your MasterCard or Visa.

  NAC
  PO Box 132
  Oshkosh, WI 54903
 

Thank you for choosing to make a difference!

Naturally,

Bob Morton
Chairman & Executive Director
Naturist Action Committee

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Naturist Action Committee (NAC) - PO Box 132, Oshkosh, WI 54903
Executive Dir. Bob Morton      - <ctnudists@aol.com>
Online Rep. Dennis Kirkpatrick - <naturist@sunclad.com>
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