Obiter Dicta

Naked Agenda

Naturists Look to the Courts to Defend Their Right to Bare Arms (and Legs and Everything Else)

Posted Oct 1, 2008 10:00 AM CDT
By Brian Sullivan

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When you’re accustomed to a nice, even all-over bronzing from the sun, it’s not easy to come to grips with the fact that you may soon be sporting tan lines.

That’s what the Naturist Action Committee—an Oshkosh, Wis.-based organization dedicat­ed to advancing and protecting the rights of naturists through­out North America—was trying to avoid in July when it filed a lawsuit in Orange County Superior Court against the California State Depart­ment of Parks and Recreation.

The parks department, acting on complaints of inappropriate behavior, had given the clothing-optional crowd until Labor Day to let it all hang out at a designated portion of San Onofre State Beach. After that, anyone caught on the beach in the buff would be subject to being ticketed and fined as much as $360.

Attorney Allen Baylis of Hunting­ton Beach, Calif.—who happens to be a board member of the NAC—spearheaded the resistance effort. He maintains that the state failed to convene a public hearing on the issue, and that the inappropriate behavior occurs in a parking lot close to a mile from the beach.

In a letter to NAC members, Bay­lis urged fellow nudists to “keep going to the beach at San Onofre, and keep using it in the traditional clothing-optional manner.”

At a hearing in August, an Orange County judge ruled tentatively that the devotees of disrobing could doff their duds until further notice.

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