Hutchinson, we have a problem.
It seems it’s not illegal to run around naked in the Salt City.
And we didn’t even know it.
But if you’ve got the urge to do the Full Monty, you better do it soon, because the city’s about to throw a big ol’ blanket over it.
An ordinance that would ban public nudity will be considered at Tuesday’s Hutchinson City Council meeting.
City Attorney Paul Brown said that the current laws against disturbing the peace and lewd and lascivious behavior just aren’t getting it done.
The disturbing the peace ordinance requires a “knowledge or probable cause to believe” that your actions will “alarm, anger or disturb others or provoke an assault or other breach of the peace.” The code also mentions specific actions, such fighting, brawling or using offensive language that can be reasonably expected to provoke somebody.
“If you’re just naked, it doesn’t meet the definition,” Brown said.
The code on lewd and lascivious behavior in part prohibits exposing oneself “with intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desires of the offender.”
“If they don’t have that intent, you can’t charge them,” Brown said.
Brown said it doesn’t happen often, the police officers occasionally get called to incidents where someone has decided to get naked in public. While those actions might be offending someone, they’re not an offense under city code or the Uniform Public Offense code.
The language of the proposed code is specific and maybe even explicit.
“Nudity,” the proposal says, “means the showing, in a public place, of the human male or female genitals, anus, anal cleft or cleavage or 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.”
Too much information?
There are a few exceptions. The law wouldn’t apply to a child under 10 years old, a nude model in an art class or a breastfeeding mother.
But plumbers should make sure they have their shirts tucked in.
UPDATE: This City Council voted 5-0 to approve the ordinance on Tuesday. Read the story here.