Note to Floridians who want to take action: You can find your local legislators by plugging in your address into this website... http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Representatives/myrepresentative.aspx Remember you want your STATE representatives not your U.S. representatives
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DATE : January 14, 2014
SUBJECT: Florida legislation
TO : Naturists and other concerned citizens
This is an Action Alert from the Naturist Action Committee. NAC is asking for your immediate involvement to oppose House Bill 161, a Florida state legislative bill that would have a negative impact on clothing-optional users of public land in Florida. NAC has developed this Action Alert in close cooperation with South Florida Free Beaches, the stewards of Haulover Beach in Miami-Dade County.
1. Immediately e-mail or call members of the Criminal Justice Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee.
2. If you're near Tallahassee, attend the meeting of the Committee at which HB 161 will be considered. The meeting is scheduled for 12 NOON on Thursday, January 16, 2014, in room 404 of the House Office Building, 402 South Monroe Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399. [MAP]
Entitled "Indecent Exposure," section 800.03 of the Florida Statutes addresses nudity, but it does so only in the context of lewd behavior. State court cases, notably Hoffman v. Carson (1971) and Goodmakers v. State (1984) have declared that absent lewdness, mere nudity is not a violation of 800.03, F.S.
Police officers and sheriff's deputies are familiar generally with the titles and substance of the laws they enforce, but they don't frequently carry with them a copy of a court ruling that may interpret or restrict a particular law. As a result, some law enforcement may be "per the book," while not being consistent with judicial holdings. That's especially true of 800.03. Unacceptable numbers of those who are merely nude are improperly charged each year under 800.03. Unfortunately, defending oneself from such improper charges can be expensive.
House Bill 161 seeks to authorize police to make warrantless arrests in cases involving 800.03, F.S. But allowing arrests to be made without warrants will not improve the accuracy of the arrests or address the misfires in which simple nudity is charged under a law that Florida courts have made clear is to be used for lewdness only. In fact, improper charges will likely increase.
WHY DO WE CARE?
Naturists recognize that 800.03 should not be applied to mere nudity. Some may find it awkward to be opposing "enhancements" to a law that should not be affecting us. The simple truth is that misapplication of the law affects us frequently. If 800.03 is made even easier to misapply, naturists MUST care.
ACTION 1: WRITE TO MEMBERS OF THE SUBCOMMITTEE
NAC encourages you to e-mail or call the members of the subcommittee. Lawmakers gave minimal notice of the hearing for HB 161 in subcommittee. There is probably not enough time to rely on Postal Service mail to reach the subcommittee members.
NAC has compiled a complete list of subcommittee members, along with their phone numbers and instructions for contacting them online.
Find all that information at: www.naturistaction.org/FL
ACTION 2: ATTEND THE SUBCOMMITTEE MEETING
NAC encourages you to attend the meeting of the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee at which HB 161 will be considered.
WHEN : Thursday, January 16, 2014, 12 NOON - 3:00 PM EST
WHERE: Room 404 of the House Office Building
402 South Monroe Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399 [MAP]
Eleven bills are being considered at this meeting. The order in which the measures are heard is at the discretion of the subcommittee chair and likely will not match the published numerical sequence. Members of the public are typically given an opportunity to make a very brief comment on the legislation being considered.
IF YOU INTEND TO SPEAK: You must fill out a form first. Paper forms will be available at the legislative committee meeting, or you may complete and print one online at:
WHO SHOULD CONTACT LAWMAKERS?
NAC is requesting ALL NATURISTS and other concerned individuals to contact the members of the Criminal Justice Subcommittee on this important matter, regardless of your place of residence. Florida lawmakers understand the value of tourist dollars from out-of-state visitors who come to enjoy the state's beaches, lakes and streams. Providing diverse recreational opportunities for visitors, as well as for Florida residents, is important. While all are encouraged to make their voices heard, the participation of Floridians is, of course, particularly important.
Make a phone call or send an electronic message through each lawmaker's online text entry box.
NAC encourages you to send copies of your electronic communication to: FL@naturistaction.org
WHAT SHOULD YOU SAY?
When you speak or write:
a) Be polite.
b) Be known. Give your name and address. If you are a Florida
resident or a frequent visitor to Florida, be sure to point
that out. Anonymous communications have very little impact.
c) Be focused. Keep your correspondence brief and on target.
d) Be clear. Say that you OPPOSE HOUSE BILL 161.
e) Request that the lawmaker VOTE AGAINST HB 161 in the subcommittee.
Additional talking / writing point:
1) Clothing-optional recreation is well supported by the public.
A public opinion survey on this topic was commissioned in 2006
by the Naturist Education Foundation and was conducted by the
prestigious Roper polling firm. In that national poll:
74 percent of Americans believe that people who enjoy nude
sunbathing should be able to do so without interference from
local officials as long as they do so at a beach that is
accepted for that purpose.
View details of the 2006 NEF Roper Poll:
MORE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES
Additional information and links are available, along with this NAC Action Alert on the web site of the Naturist Action Committee.
Use this convenient shortcut: www.naturistaction.org/FL Among the material on the NAC site, you'll find:
the complete text of House Bill 161
Text of related legislation
contact info for lawmakers on the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee
link to details of the 2006 NEF Roper Poll
link to the text of section 800.03 of the Florida Statutes
links to court opinions: Hoffman v. Carson and Goodmakers
PLEASE HELP NAC TO CONTINUE HELPING NATURISTS!
The Naturist Action Committee is the volunteer nonprofit political adjunct to The Naturist Society. NAC exists to advance and protect the rights and interests of naturists throughout North America. Fighting for the clothing-optional recreational use of public land is expensive. To do its job, NAC relies entirely on the voluntary generosity of supporters like you.
After you've contacted lawmakers, please take a moment to send a donation to:
PO Box 132
Oshkosh, WI 54903
Or call toll free (800) 886-7230 to donate by phone using your MasterCard, Visa or Discover Card. Or use your credit card to make a convenient online donation: www.naturistaction.org/donate/
Thank you for choosing to make a difference!
Naturist Action Committee