After the shock of the anti-behaviour bill (see last entry) comes a story from the Daily Mail online, in which they say that there may be a chance that public nudity might become legal. In the article it said that both parties in the coalition were considering the creation of a new freedoms bill, which would clarify a lot of points of law including the parts about public nudity. The Age of consent was also mentioned in the same article and the possibility of lowering the age from 16 to 14, but this apparently has already been ruled out by the government. The article said Number 10 had asked civil servants to produce a list of ideas that could be included in new legislation to reduce state intrusion into everybody’s everyday life.
The article said on the subject
“But sources said reforms to nudity laws, which would give men and women the right to wander naked on Britain’s streets and beaches without fear of arrest, were still being considered. Men bathing naked on a beach not designated for naturism, or appearing nude in other public areas, can face prosecution under the 1824 Vagrancy Act, which makes it illegal to expose the ‘male person’. Women can be charged under the Public Order Act. In a joint appearance at Downing Street earlier this week, David Cameron and Nick Clegg revealed that a new ‘Freedoms Bill’ would be among key priorities for the next two and a half years of coalition government. As we take steps to reshape the British state for the 21st century, we will take further steps to limit its scope and extend our freedoms,’ they said.
Two sources also told the Daily Mail that lowering the age of consent for sexual intercourse from 16 was rejected”
It went on to say :-
“There is a debate to be had about this (public nudity). Already in law, nudity is allowed in certain places, like nudist beaches. There is an issue in law about when people are nude but not intending to cause distress to others”
To confirm this the article said :-
“A Liberal Democrat source confirmed that proposals on reforming public nudity laws were still under consideration as draft legislation is prepared”
Read the full article – mail online
So it seems that there may be a slim chance of a change in the nudity laws or at least a relaxation of them in the UK. This may have been brought to bear (no not bare this time..lol) by the trials of Stephen Gough, Nigel Keer and various other “Naked Ramblers” who have been acquitted after lengthy trials and a complete waste of public finances especially by the sheriffs north of the border in Scotland.
Elsewhere in the naked world
A federal judge considering San Francisco’s public nudity ban rejected arguments Thursday that simply disrobing in public was protected political speech akin to flag burning. U.S. District Judge Edward Chen made his comments during a 90-minute hearing held to consider the new law requiring the covering of “genitals, perineum, and anal region” that is set to go into effect on Feb. 1. A narrowly divided Board of Supervisors passed the law last month after residents and visitors to the city’s renowned Castro district complained about what they called unsightly and unsanitary nudity in a plaza in the heart of the gay neighbourhood. Public nudity activists filed a federal lawsuit seeking to invalidate the law, arguing the government-ordered cover-up violates their 1st Amendment rights to express their political views. Their supporters also complained the law contradicts the city’s live-and-let-live reputation. But U.S. District Court Judge Edward Chen said Thursday it takes more than simply disrobing in public to make a political statement, as he rejected arguments that a public nudity ban was akin to outlawing the burning of the American flag. “Flag burning has a pretty clear message,” he said, while a naked person in public could be simply sunbathing. “Being nude, it seems to me, doesn’t have the same obvious particularized message,” he said after the hearing held to consider the competing legal demands by the city’s attorney and activists. The judge said he would issue a written ruling on the competing requests before the end of the month. The city wants the judge to toss out the lawsuit, while activists were requesting Chen block the ban from going into effect until the legal action is resolved. If the ban becomes law, a first offense carries a maximum penalty of a $100 fine, but prosecutors would have authority to charge a third violation as a misdemeanour punishable by up to a $500 fine and a year in jail. “Mere nudity is not a criminal offense,” Christina DiEardo, a lawyer for the nudists, told the judge, noting that state law only criminalizes nudity such as indecent exposure. She also argued that disrobing these days in San Francisco is de facto political speech because of the law and the publicity surrounding it. An hour before the hearing, two activists demonstrated naked in front of the federal courtroom along with several other supporters in various states of undress. But deputy city attorney Tara Steeley said San Francisco does have the authority to pass its own law banning simple nudity.” Government has a duty to protect the public that does not wish to be exposed to nudity on the streets,” she told the judge. “Business is suffering in the Castro. Numerous citizens are no longer visiting the neighbourhood.”
The public nudity debate in San Francisco began about two years ago when the Board of Supervisors passed legislation requiring nudists to place clothing or a towel between them in restaurants and on public benches and seating areas. That law enflamed political passions and prompted even more nudists to start gathering in the plaza, prompting complaints from nearby businesses that the activists were scaring away customers. After three rambunctious meeting that included naked protests and arrests, the supervisors last month on a 6-5 vote passed the law that bans the public nudity with certain exceptions. The law exempts children younger than 5 and public nudity at certain events such as an annual street fair, the city’s Gay Pride Parade and its Bay-to-Breakers foot race, which is noted for the wacky costumes — or lack thereof — of participants.
Read the full article here – ktvu.com
With World Naked Bike Rides WNBR coming and going without arrests,there has been a thaw albeit slight towards public nudity, which a lot of people do not see as such a big issue providing it’s done innocently and with no sexual overtones whatsoever.