NAC Action Alert: Stop Anti-Nudity Ordinance in Kansas

| September 22, 2014 | 7 Comments

Topeka Proposes Regressive Anti-Nudity Ordinance Because of One Naked Man

Sometimes, for naturists, the law is on our side. I don’t know how it came to be, in a state like Kansas, that it’s legal for people to be naked in public (given there is no sexual behavior), but we’re all for it. However some people in Kansas are wondering the same thing, and the law might be about to change.

naked man topeka kansas public nudity anti nudity ordinance nac action alert yna

Photo: Associated Press

One brave man took a naked stroll along the side of a road through a quiet area of Topeka. I don’t know his reasons, but I’ll call him brave nonetheless. Despite complaints, he wasn’t arrested because it’s legal. Nothing else really happened. The city didn’t explode. Nobody’s eyes fell out of their heads. But he was seen, and the local news station picked it up. Then CNN talked about it.

Naturists know that public nudity is legal certain states, but in most instances, this doesn’t mean you can walk around town in your nudie pants without some consequences. Frankly, I’m surprised the local police knew the law and didn’t the arrest this guy (or that they didn’t choose to willfully ignore the law).

Some people in the community did not react positively, and there has been the usual hand-wringing from a few people saying, “What about the children!”

Now due to this incident, Topeka thought it’d be a good time to pass an anti-nudity ordinance. This isn’t just to outlaw public nudity, though. Turns out this ordinance hasn’t been thought out too well and lawmakers have created a sexist piece of crap that discriminates against women and will also criminalize nudity in locker rooms and doctor’s offices.

Here are few important issues with it, as listed by the Naturist Action Committee (NAC):

1. The proposed ordinance is a solution in search of a problem. It would make bad law for the City of Topeka.

2. The proposed ordinance specifically discriminates against women by the inclusion of gender-specific language.

3. The proposed ordinance would criminalize nudity in a locker room at the gym or the swimming pool.

4. The proposed ordinance would criminalize any man who stands at a urinal in a public restroom and uses it for its intended purpose.

5. The proposed ordinance would criminalize nudity that’s incident to medical examinations in a hospital or doctor’s office.

6. The proposed ordinance would criminalize large numbers of women’s swimsuit bottoms, including those sold in Topeka shops.

NAC has issued an action alert for residents of Kansas and more specifically, of Topeka. IMMEDIATE action is needed to stop this ordinance from going through! So attention Kansas and Topeka residents: you need to make your voices heard! This alert also applies to those who are a “frequent visitors to Kansas, or have family members there, or do business there.”

You need to write to the mayor and city council and also TOMORROW, Tuesday, SEPTEMBER 23rd, is a Topeka city council meeting that you should attend. At this meeting there will be a time for public comment, and thus an opportunity for people to speak up against the ordinance.

For more information, visit NAC’s Action Alert page.

**UPDATE 9/24/14 ** : The City of Topeka voted 5-3 to defer the ordinance to the Public Health & Safety Committee for further investigation. They are possibly planning to limit the ordinance to schools and daycare centers.

**UPDATE 9/25/14**: See a full update from NAC which includes a summary of what happened at the city council meeting. It’s interesting to see what was said at that meeting. Naturists definitely made an impact! NAC has had help from the Lake Edun Foundation and Prairie Haven Resort, both local naturist places, and will continue to work with them on this issue.

What to do now? No further action is needed at this time. Stay tuned for more NAC alerts / advisories on this situation.

Young Naturists & Nudists America

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Category: Social Nudity Blogs, Naked News, Public Nudity, Nudity Laws, Nudism and Naturism, Social Activism

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Author of Felicity's Blog. Co-founder of Young Naturists America. 3rd-generation nudie. Avid reader. Feminist. 70% vegan, 30% vegetarian. When I'm not busy eating, I'm writing about naturism, censorship, topfree equality, body image and other fun topics. I like feedback, so plz leave a comment when you've got something to say!
  • ShaylaStriffler

    It’s been a few years since I was in Kansas, but I spent a great deal of time naked there in the Overland Park area without incident

  • jaxhard

    j238 That technical description was boiler plate distributed 20 years ago when all these anti-nudity ordinances were being stuffed down our throats by the Charles Keating clan. They pre-wrote the bill in language that would sail right through committees so they got passed in record time. Now we’re stuck with them because no law maker wants to be seen in favor of liberty, only “getting tough” on crime.

    They don’t need another law, they could just arrest this guy on a disorderly conduct charge. It happens all the time.

  • FULL NAC UPDATE on the ordinance here! : http://naturistaction.org/AlertsAdvisoriesUpdates/UPDATES/KS_2014_Topeka_Update_09-24-14/ks_2014_topeka_update_09-24-14.html 
    Naturists definitely made an impact! No further action is needed at this time, but watch out for more advisories / alerts on this situation.

  • mpapai It is, but it doesn’t surprise me given all the discriminatory laws already on the books. 
    I’m not really familiar with Kansas history / politics, but I was interested to learn it was very radical and liberal in its early days. It changed drastically over time, and maybe the nudity laws never needed to be addressed before, I don’t know. Would be interesting to know but need a historian or some research! haha. There’s a book called What’s the Matter with Kansas? by Thomas Frank that goes through its political history.

  • j238 None that I know of. The Heartland Naturists club (non-landed) are based in a different town an hour away, though I don’t know where they do events and it could affect them. But even if there aren’t any current clubs in the vicinity, I think there is still very much reason for us to not want this to pass as is.

  • UPDATE: The City of Topeka voted 5-3, BUT the ordinance has been deferred to the Public Health & Safety Committee for further research, with plans to limit ordinance to schools & daycare centers. I think this is a win? :)

  • j238

    The ordinance defines nudity to include “the showing of the female
    breast below a horizontal line across the top of the areola at its highest point with
    less than a fully opaque covering. This definition shall include the entire lower
    portion of the human female breast, but shall not include any portion of the
    cleavage of the human female breast exhibited by a dress, blouse, shirt, leotard,
    bathing suit, or other wearing apparel, provided the areola is not exposed in
    whole or in part.”

    Discrimination aside, that’s a weird clause. 

    It starts out with an elaborately worded prohibition, then carves out an exception written so broadly, it invalidates the prohibition, almost completely. 

    In short, it’s saying, with anatomical & geometric specificity, side-boob is a violation.  Then the next sentence makes an exception for all imaginable cases of side-boob.  Thank you, politicians. 

    The real concern is the impact on naturist areas.  Anyone know of any within the jurisdiction?