Republican Rep. Dave Moore introduced a bill on Tuesday that would have “expanded the definition of indecent exposure to include garments that give the appearance of a person’s buttocks, genitals, pelvis or female nipple.” However, the Montana State House Judiciary “voted unanimously to table House Bill 365,” so Moore’s bill is dead.
The Republican from Missoula said he wouldn’t have a problem with people being arrested for wearing such provocative clothing such as tight-fitting beige garments. Moore also said yoga pants should be illegal.
The AP reports that members “giggled” about the bill before there was a voice vote to table it.
Moore and retired professor Walt Hill drafted HB 365 after last year’s Bare as you Dare bicycle event outraged some residents last summer. Fearing that denying organizers an event permit would breach free speech, city officials allowed participants, many of them completely nude, to ride through downtown Missoula on Aug. 17.
Talk about a slippery slope: we move from “completely naked” to “yoga pants.”
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1991 that state prohibitions on public nudity are constitutional given that nudity itself is not an expression. Bare as you Dare organizers call the event a celebration of body image and bicyclists’ right to use public roads.
Should you decide to indecently expose yourself in Montana, you would be looking at up to a $10,000 fine and possible life in prison.