A Montana lawmaker wants to expand his state’s indecent exposure laws to outlaw yoga pants and other tight-fitting or revealing clothing.
State Rep. David Moore (R-Missoula) introduced a bill Tuesday after stewing for months over a group of naked bicyclists who rode through his town in August.
City officials feared that denying a permit to Bare As You Dare riders might violate free speech rights, although the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that public nudity is not protected expression.
Moore’s bill, which was drafted with retired professor Walt Hill, is intended to preserve Montana’s reputation as a “decent state where people can live within the security of laws and protect their children and associates from degrading and indecent practices.”
The bill would outlaw any nipple exposure by men or women, along with any clothing that “gives the appearance or simulates” the buttocks, genitals, pelvic area, or female nipple.
State Rep. Virginia Court (D-Billings) said the bill appears to be “a little prejudiced against women.”
The Republican lawmaker said he would also ban men from wearing Speedo-style swimming trunks in public.
Moore admits he cannot be sure how police would use their discretion to enforce the law, but he doesn’t have a problem with arresting people who wear tight-fitting clothing.
“Yoga pants should be illegal in public anyway,” Moore said.
A person convicted three times for indecent exposure could be sentenced to life in jail and fined $10,000 under current state law, but Moore’s bill would limit that to five years in jail and $5,000.
The bill does not change the six-month jail term and $500 for a first offense or one-year jail term and $1,000 fine for a second offense.