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NAC Action Alert
KENTUCKY HOUSE BILL 438
February 22, 2007

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                     NATURIST ACTION COMMITTEE
                           ACTION ALERT
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 Copyright 2007 by the Naturist Action Committee, which is responsible
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DATE: February 22, 2007
SUBJECT: Kentucky House Bill 438
TO: Kentucky Naturists and other concerned Kentucky citizens

Dear Kentucky Naturist:

This is an Action Alert from the Naturist Action Committee concerning an important legislative situation in the state of Kentucky.

NAC has been working with Kentucky lawmakers in an attempt to monitor and derail a dangerous legislative bill. If you are a resident of Kentucky, NAC is asking for your immediate action in the form of your letters, e-mails, faxes and telephone calls to one specific Kentucky lawmaker.

NAC is calling for those who live outside the state of Kentucky to take NO action at the present time.

WHAT'S THE SPECIFIC THREAT?

Kentucky House Bill 438 proposes a significant increase to the level of punishment for mere nudity in the presence of a minor, making it a felony for a second offense. More importantly, the bill would strip away the portion of EXISTING Kentucky law that distinguishes benign nudity in the presence of children and protects it from arrest, prosecution and conviction.

Specifically, House Bill 438 would remove a key existing phrase from the state's existing first-degree indecent exposure law. Section 510.148, as it presently exists in the Kentucky Revised Statutes, declares that an individual commits the offense of exposure only when it takes place "under circumstances in which he knows or should know that his conduct is likely to cause affront or alarm."

HB 438 would altogether remove that qualifying phrase, criminalizing ANY intentional adult nudity when a minor is present. No circumstance would be protected. Additionally, HB 438 adds that the very fact of the nudity itself would constitute evidence of intent to commit a criminal act.

Obviously threatened is any form of family-friendly naturist activity in which adults are nude in the presence of children - even their own children, and even in their own homes!

Also at risk are adults, naturists or not, who find themselves in the presence of someone under 18 while they are ...

  • in the locker room at a gym or spa,
  • in the changing room at a public (or private) swimming pool,
  • using a urinal in a public restroom.
  • at home

If House Bill 438 is passed into law, Kentucky law enforcement, prosecutors and courts will be left with no way to recognize or distinguish benign exposure.

BACKGROUND AND DISCUSSION

House Bill 438 was introduced last week by Rep. Brandon Spencer, a freshman Democrat lawmaker from Prestonburg. The bill has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee, of which Rep. Kathy Stein (D-Lexington) is Chair.

The bill attempts to burden the definition of personal indecent exposure, so that it would include images sent by electronic communications. That forces an awkward fusion of two separate legal notions that should remain distinct, and it makes bad law itself. But it is the bill's proposed removal of existing circumstantial protections that should create the greatest alarm.

HB 438 has been posted in committee, but it has not yet been scheduled for a hearing. We're trying to make our points concerning the bill BEFORE the matter comes before the legislative committee.

WHAT IS NAC DOING?

The Naturist Action Committee has engaged an experienced Kentucky lobbyist to act as a legislative advisor. 

NAC is issuing a call for a grass roots response from Kentucky residents, as detailed in this NAC Action Alert.

WHAT IS NAC ASKING YOU TO DO?

The Naturist Action Committee is NOT requesting action from those who live outside Kentucky. But if you are a Kentucky resident, NAC is asking you to make a telephone call, send a fax or send an e-mail immediately to Rep. Kathy Stein, the Kentucky lawmaker who is Chair of the House Judiciary Committee.

WHO SHOULD WRITE AND CALL

NAC is asking only residents of Kentucky to write and call. If you live outside the state of Kentucky, NAC is NOT requesting you to take action at this time.

WHOM TO CONTACT

In this instance, phone calls, faxes and e-mails are likely to be the most effective means of voicing your concern. Time is critical. However, if you act immediately, there's still time for surface mail to reach the key lawmaker from addresses within Kentucky.

Please contact:

   Rep. Kathy Stein
   Kentucky Legislature
   Annex Room 451B
   Frankfort, KY 40601

   TEL: (502) 564-8100 Ext. 675
   FAX: (502) 564-6543
[This is a central fax. Be sure
   to show Rep. Stein's name prominently, so the fax can
   be routed properly inside the capitol complex.]
   e-mail:
kathy.stein@lrc.ky.gov

Key points to remember when writing or calling:
(You CAN do both, and NAC recommends it!)

   1. Identify yourself. Anonymous phone calls and correspondence are generally disregarded.

   2. Please say that you are a Kentucky resident. Rep. Stein represents a portion of Lexington, KY. If you live in the district represented by Rep. Stein (southwest Lexington) - or anywhere in or near Lexington, please also say so prominently.

   3. If you call, Rep. Stein may not be immediately available. Be prepared to speak to a legislative aide. That person is well trained to take your information and present it properly on your behalf.

   4. Be brief and polite.

   5. Say clearly and specifically that you OPPOSE House Bill 438.

   6. Voice your specific concerns about HB 438. For suggestions, see NAC's talking and writing points, below.

WHAT ELSE TO SAY?

Here are some additional talking/writing points to consider. Don't just copy these or read the list over the phone. Using your own words to express your ideas is far more effective!

   1. The bill makes bad law for Kentucky.

   2. House Bill 438 removes important existing protections.

   3. The bill removes the element of discretion for law enforcement.

   4. HB 438 would make criminals of Kentuckians in everyday situations.

   5. Facilities with dressing rooms, like the YMCA or a health club, would be forced into expensive remodeling that could be avoided by using a little common sense to reject House Bill 438.

   6. House Bill 438 seriously erodes the personal liberties of individuals and families in Kentucky, making them criminals in their own homes.

   7. There really ARE some situations that deserve protection. Family-inclusive naturism is one of those. House Bill 438 bulldozes those protections.

MORE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

Additional information, including the complete text of Kentucky House Bill 438, is available on the Web site of the Naturist Action Committee.

  
www.naturistaction.org

Select "Alerts" and find this NAC Action Alert under Current Alerts.

PLEASE HELP NAC TO CONTINUE HELPING NATURISTS!

The Naturist Action Committee is a volunteer nonprofit organization that exists to advance and protect the rights of naturists throughout North America. Fighting bad legislation on behalf of naturists is expensive. To do its job, NAC relies entirely on the voluntary generosity of supporters like you. Please donate to NAC.

   NAC
   PO Box 132
   Oshkosh, WI 54903

Or call toll free (800) 886-7230 to donate by phone using your MasterCard, Visa or Discover Card. Or use your credit card to make a convenient online donation: www.naturistaction.org/donate/

Thank you for choosing to make a difference.

Naturally,

Bill Schroer
Board Member
Naturist Action Committee

---------------------------------------------------------------
Naturist Action Committee (NAC) - PO Box 132, Oshkosh, WI 54903
Executive Dir. Bob Morton       -
execdir@naturistaction.org
Board Member Bill Schroer      -
naturist18a@gmail.com
Online Rep. Dennis Kirkpatrick  -
naturist@sunclad.com
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