NAC Alert: Florida Anti-Nudity Ordinance in Clay County

| October 22, 2014 | 6 Comments

New Florida Anti-Nudity Ordinance in Clay County Seeks to Outlaw Nudist Resorts, Beaches, etc

The Naturist Action Committee is drawing people’s attention to an anti-nudity ordinance being considered in Clay County in northeastern Florida. This ordinance is no better than the one proposed in Topeka, KS and in fact sounds worse.

The county’s Board of County Commissioners (BCC) has produced a couple of new ordinances with the goal of regulating “sexually oriented businesses” or SOB’s, and public nudity. NAC notes that Clay County is “sparsely populated,” but it’s located next to the city of Jacksonville. It just so happens that a woman petitioned for a nude beach in Jacksonville not too long ago. The mayor stated the city was not interested in it, as they wanted to keep the area “family friendly.” So at present there are no official nude beaches in northeast Florida.

Clay County itself doesn’t even have any SOB’s currently, but they are worried about future businesses moving in. Also, they already have an ordinance to deal with such businesses, but they’ve been advised that this ordinance could be found to be unconstitutional if it were challenged.

nudity crime anti nudity ordinance clay county nac alert yna

Nudity is NOT a Crime!

The BCC believes that SOB’s would have a variety of negative social consequences. They’ve attached these same consequences to public nudity.

Excerpted from the Florida anti-nudity ordinance:

WHEREAS, the Board of County Commissioners (the Board), of Clay County, Florida (the County), on behalf of the citizens of the County, desires to regulate public nudity and sexual conduct, and the Board believes that public nudity and sexual conduct begets undesirable behavior, and that adverse secondary effects such as, but not limited to, prostitution, attempted sexual battery, sexual battery, assault and the spread of social communicable and sexually transmittable diseases and may occur and have the potential for occurring where nude and sexual conduct is permitted; and,

WHEREAS, the Board believes that the appearance of persons in the nude in public places generally increases adverse secondary effects such as, but not limited to, incidents of prostitution, sexual assaults and batteries, attracts other criminal activity to the community, and encourages degradation of women and other activities which break down societal and family structures; and,

So basically, they believe public nudity will lead to more prostitution, sexual assault, and other criminal sexual behavior. The rest of the ordinance goes on to say it would be a threat to public order, public health and societal / family structures. This anti-nudity ordinance would outlaw public nudity – including nudist resorts, beaches and any other nude or clothing-optional places. (It should be noted that these ordinances are regulating venues like strip clubs, but not outlawing them entirely.)

It’s become increasingly common for lawmakers to include public nudity when attempting to regulate SOB’s. So it seems all the criminal activity they associate with these businesses, gets foisted on public nudity as well. Of course there is no evidence for any of these claims about public nudity. All we have to do is look at Pasco County, Florida, where nudist resorts flourish. Despite the positive impact of nudist businesses, apparently somewhere around 50 out of the 67 counties in Florida have anti-nudity ordinances. Clay County would be another one cutting itself off from a good source of revenue it would get from any naturist businesses or recreational areas. Of course should this ordinance pass, it will affect the rest of Florida as well.

Like the Topeka ordinance, this anti-nudity ordinance also criminalizes certain types of women’s swimsuit bottoms (with its definition of “buttocks”) and discriminates against women by outlawing female topfreedom.

In short, this ordinance is a garbage piece of legislation that shouldn’t be allowed to pass.

What’s the latest news on this ordinance?

The BCC recently met on October 14th to discuss the ordinances, which were presented by the attorney they hired. Forty citizens attended the meeting (some of whom were nudists / naturists) and thirty-nine were opposed to the new laws. The locals urged the BCC to do more research and take more time to go over the ordinances.

What do we do now?

NAC is asking Florida and Clay County residents to attend the next meeting on Tuesday, October 28th and to contact the members of the BCC to speak out against the ordinance. (Those who do business in Clay County or have family there, are encouraged to speak out as well.) For more instructions on who to write to and what to do, please visit NAC’s Action Alert page.

**UPDATE 10/29/14**: The BCC voted 4-1 to put off all the ordinances for further study and community input. Stay tuned for a full report and update on the NAC website!

Young Naturists and Young Nudists America YNA

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Category: Felicity's Nudist Blog, Naked News, Public Nudity

About the Author ()

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!
  • richard Mason

    And, further more.
    Because the Clay County Anti-Nudity Ordinance has wording that was great material for comics, I sent copies of the ordinance to the John Stewart, Colbert Report and Bill Maher Show’s producers with the buttocks and breast measurement guide lines highlighted. I did the same to the editors and news directors of the daily newspapers and TV Shows.

    My cover letter asked them to call the Clay County Sheriff for information on what training programs he was going to initiate so that his deputies would be  ready to take tape measures to women’s anuses and breast, because the ordinance requirements were very specific and if he wanted to win convictions in court, the measurements could only be accurate through “hands-on” measuring. 

    My call to the sheriff was never returned.

    If you can’t beat them on the merits and you don’t own any county commissioners or know the judge, the only strategy left is to use humor. If the public laughs at the ordinance and anyone who would support it, you have a chance of defeating it.

    I want to compliment the Young Naturists of American for placing the Clay County County Ordinance in their newsletter. Educating the public is the most important task that we can do. There are those out there who want to take away peoples rights. An educated public is our best defense.
    Richard Mason
    Haulover Beach 
    The Pride of the Naturist Community

  • richard Mason

    Clay County, Florida Adult Entertainment and Public Nudity Ordinance.
    It should be noted that the subject ordinance when read will have no real negative effect on existing nude night clubs because they clearing state in the ordinance that nude dancing is protected by the 1st Amendment . The Zoning part of the ordinance tries to list about 50 sites in the county where an adult business could be located. All scattered sites. That was because the courts have ruled that you can’t prohibit  a nude night club by zoning them out.
    The real negative effect of  the Clay County Ordinance would be to prohibit any future chance for a nude resort or river side site in the county. 
    Currently there are no beaches in this inland county, but it is on the St.Johns River so no nudity on boats either.
    At the October 13th meeting Richard Mason. President of South Florida Free Beaches/Florida Naturist Association, Shirley Mason Ex. Director of BEACHES Foundation, Ralph Collinson  of AANR-Florida and Bill Schroer of AANT-National attended the meeting and spoke in opposition to the Ordinance. It passed on a 4-1 vote to go to a 2nd hearing. At the 2nd Hearing Ralph Collinson attended along with Ray Maury, Lobbyist for both AANR-Florida and SFFB/FNA attended and spoke in opposition.. The County commission, learning from our groups efforts, made the right decision to defer the ordinance for 4 months.
    Between the  two meetings SFFB/FNA did a full court effort by calling and mailing media information and opportunity packets on the negatives contained within the proposed ordinance. to  all three local TV stations and the three major newspapers in that metropolitan area. All copies of the ordinance with its 405 word description of the buttocks with instructions to a police office that to determine if too much buttocks is exposed you measure from the anus to a perpendicular line and etc. To determine if too much female breast is exposed a sheriff’s deputy would have to estimate the total column of a breast and measure the material covering the breast to determine if more than a prescribed amount of the breast was exposed It also explained in detail what a female nipple looks like.

    This will give us a few months to amend or propose an ordinance to protect our naturist interests.

    This same ordinance is presently in effect in several Florida Counties .

    It is also similar to the bills introduced into the Florida Legislature starting in 1994, 95, 96 and a few other years to ban nudity in Florida. Bills that were defeated through efforts of the members of SFFB/FNA and other Florida and national naturist groups.

    The reality is that naturists can never ignore the political scene.

    “Go gentle into the night, but rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

    Richard Mason

  • MikeFay1

    Nudity is the most natural form for us…we were born that way, and will die that way…

  • Scoutniagara

    Driving cars begets traffic accidents, so let’s ban all vehicles from the roads.  Who elects these knuckle-heads anyway?

  • American_Serendipity

    Felicity….I soooo love you….but I really think to grow…you’ll need more leaders in more places showing the way….state by state leaders and county leaders….get the grid of political stature working for us all….because as nudist/naturists we can’t conceal anything to protect our human rights….never mind equal loving ones! :)

  • livefyrebob

    On our upcoming — and every — election -day, we are free to ask candidates how they feel about clothing optional recreation on public and private lands.