The ongoing battle over an ordinance to outlaw public nudity in Clay County highlights just how bi-polar Florida is when it comes to community standards. While Pasco County near Tampa is America’s nudist capital, Clay County, securely in north Florida’s Bible Belt, is preparing to shield its “wholesome character” from potential libertines.
Though building the fortress is not going smoothly. Following public outcry at Tuesday night’s commission meeting, commissioners kicked a decision on a trio of decency ordinances ahead six months.
Ostensibly aimed at regulating adult businesses, which don’t currently exist in Clay County, the proposed ordinance would make public nudity illegal. Perhaps realizing that could make a doctor’s exam particularly awkward, the county included a list of places where nudity would be allowed:
…single sex public restroom, an enclosed single sex functional shower, a single sex locker and/or dressing room facility, an enclosed motel room and hotel room designed and intended for sleeping accommodations, a doctor’s office, any portion of a hospital, the yard areas of a private residence
Watch out, low-riding pants wearers. This is also one of the rare occasions where you’ll find “anal cleft,” and “anal cleavage” explicitly prohibited in a proposed county ordinance. Squatting to pick up a quarter may cost you many more. The misdemeanor would carry up to a $500 fine.
Nudists/Naturists are naturally outraged by the proposal. The Young Naturists of America, for one, is rallying members to voice opposition. Not only would the ordinance limit their ability to hang out together in the buff, but it also associates nudism with prostitution, violence, and venereal disease.
…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;