Vermont town outlaws displays of public nudity


BRATTLEBORO, Vt. (AP) – A split town Select Board has outlawed public nudity in parts of the community.

By a vote of 3-2, the board Tuesday passed an ordinance that could bring a $100 fine for not wearing clothes on the town’s main roads.

But outside corridors defined by U.S. Route 5 and state Route 9 nudity would still be allowed as long as it’s not within 250 feet of any school or place of worship. Certain other parts of town would also be included in the ban.

Next month, the town will hold a public hearing on whether the ordinance should be made permanent.

“People have a reasonable expectation that when they are going out, they’re not going to run into any nude people,” said Select Board member Dick DeGray, who wrote the ordinance.

The Select Board passed the ordinance after the community developed an international reputation for accepting public nudity. Some officials feared the nudity could hurt local business.

“I understand a lot of people find it uncomfortable to be faced with someone nude,” said Select Board member Dora Bouboulis, who voted against the ordinance. “We’re careful not to legislate morality.”

The ordinance defines nudity as the showing of genitalia, buttocks or female breasts. A provision would allow breast-feeding in public.

“I’m not looking for a town-wide ban in every nook and cranny,” said DeGray. “We though we would start in a smaller region. This is the primary area of concern.”

Information from: Brattleboro Reformer

AP-ES-07-18-07 0945EDT