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Huntington Beach Council To Vote On Public Nudity Ordinance

POSTED: 4:09 pm PDT August 6, 2007
UPDATED: 4:19 pm PDT August 6, 2007

City leaders are scheduled to vote Monday night on an ordinance that would outlaw public nudity in Huntington Beach.

The ordinance was drafted after the city received complaints about Michael Ferreira. According to a report in the Orange County Register, he stood naked either in his front yard or the threshold of his residence, in full view of the public walking on the sidewalk.

Neighbors complained that they could see Ferreira, while he was nude, through the windows of his house.

Because the behavior did not include an overt element of sexual gratification, police were limited to taking reports and submitting them to the Orange County District Attorney's Office for filing of charges. Currently, public nudity, absent behavior indicating it was done for sexual gratification, is not specifically banned.

The proposed ordinance would ban nudity visble to the public, except in the case of a breast-feeding mother.

The proposal makes it unlawful for any person over nine years old to among other things, "appear, bathe, sunbathe, walk or be on any public park, playground, beach or in the water adjacent thereto" in such a manner as to expose his or her genitals, pubic hair or other private areas, according to the ordinance.

Violations of the ordinance would be a misdemeanor, punishable by six months in jail and/or a $500 fine.

Ferreira's attorney said a nudity ban would be a civil rights violation.

Ferreira, 42, no longer lives in Huntington Beach, said Laurie Payne, a city spokeswoman.

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