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Foreign Countries:
U.K. Naturist Laws

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State Laws - Public Nudity -  Nudist Videos  - US Material Laws - U.K. Laws- Canadian Laws

Nudism depicts a way of life where people choose to be cloths free for daily activities.   Enjoying the naked lifestyle is not an act of sex or pornography.   Viewing naturist documentaries such as books and videos are educational.  They are not considered pornography or performances of sexual acts.  

U.S. Law and Definitions for Material Items:

In recent years, the exploitative use of children in the production of pornography has become a serious national problem. The Federal Government and 47 States have sought to combat the problem with statutes specifically directed at the production of child pornography. At least half of such statutes do not require that the materials produced be legally obscene. Thirty-five States and the United States Congress have also passed legislation prohibiting the distribution of such materials; 20 States prohibit the distribution of material depicting children engaged in sexual conduct without requiring that the material be legally obscene.

"A person is guilty of the use of a child in a sexual performance if knowing the character and content thereof he employs, authorizes or induces a child less than sixteen years of age to engage in a sexual performance or being a parent, legal guardian or custodian of such child, he consents to the participation by such child in a sexual performance."

A "[sexual] performance" is defined as "any performance or part thereof which includes sexual conduct by a child less than sixteen years of age." § 263.00(1). "Sexual conduct" is in turn defined in § 263.00(3): "'Sexual conduct' means actual or simulated sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse, sexual bestiality, masturbation, sado-masochistic abuse, or lewd exhibition of the genitals."

A performance is defined as "any play, motion picture, photograph or dance" or "any other visual representation exhibited before an audience." § 263.00(4).

"A person is guilty of promoting a sexual performance by a child when, knowing the character and content thereof, he produces, directs or promotes any performance which includes sexual conduct by a child less than sixteen years of age."

To "promote" is also defined:

"'Promote' means to procure, manufacture, issue, sell, give, provide, lend, mail, deliver, transfer, transmute, publish, distribute, circulate, disseminate, present, exhibit or advertise, or to offer or agree to do the same."

For More in depth information on Laws see Court Cases.


Public Nudity: Each state has slightly different laws.  This is an example of Florida's laws:

Florida Statute FS 800.03 It is unlawful to expose or exhibit one's sexual organs in public or on the private premise of another, or so near thereto as to be seen from such private premises, in a vulgar or indecent manner, or to be naked in public except in any place provided or set apart for that purpose. Any person convicted of a violation hereof shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 755.082 or s. 775.083. A mothers breast feeding of her baby does not under any circumstances violate this section.

View Nudity Laws by States :  Find specific laws for your state.

Information On U.K. Laws:

The Protection of Children Act

In the UK it is a serious offence under the Protection of Children Act, 1978 (PoCA) for a person to do any of the following:

  1. to take, or permit to be taken, any indecent photograph of a child
  2. to distribute or show such indecent photographs
  3. to have in his possession such indecent photographs, with a view to their being distributed or shown by himself or others
  4. to publish or cause to be published any advertisement likely to be understood as conveying that the advertiser distributes or shows such indecent photographs, or intends to do so

As you may have noticed, simple possession of an indecent photograph of a child is not an offence under PoCA, (to "show" a photograph means to show it to someone other than oneself). This loophole was plugged by section 160 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988. Prosecutions for possession under this Act are almost as common as prosecutions under PoCA.

Simple or complicated?

The above may seem straightforward, and/or to have large gaps. Neither is the case. For example, women are prosecuted under PoCA despite the use of "his", "himself" and the like. The term "photograph" has been defined to include any form of photographic image - negatives, prints, slides, video, cine film, computer files, printout, magazines, etc. An artificially created image which has the appearance of a photograph is also covered, as is an image which has been manipulated to turn it into an indecent image and something (eg a computer program) which could generate an image equivalent to a photograph. This extension to cover "pseudo-photographs" and the like was provided by section 84 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.

What is "a child"?

If the age of the subject of a photograph is known, then that determines whether the photograph is "of a child", otherwise the court has to determine whether or not the subject was aged under 16 at the time the photograph was taken. The Appeal Court judgement in R v Land, 1997 determined that, in the absence of evidence of the age of the subject of the image, the jury or bench shall use their own judgement to decide whether or not the subject is a child, and expert evidence on this matter is not admissible.

Note that the Sexual Offences Act 2003 came into force in May 2004, increasing the age below which a photograph's subject is a "child" for the purposes of these offences, from 16 to 18.

I've got an excuse

For some charges, there are standard defences of having legitimate reasons for possessing, distributing or showing the photographs, of not knowing that one had the photographs in one's possession, of not realising that images were indecent, and of having no reason to suspect that they were indecent. Only one successful use of the defence of legitimate reason is known - and that did not result in an acquittal, while claims of lack of knowledge have been rejected in several cases. When a University lecturer attempted to claim legitimate research reasons for having indecent images on his computer disc drive, the Appeal Court in Atkins v DPP dismissed the claim, stating "Courts were entitled to bring a measure of scepticism to bear upon such an inquiry and should not too readily conclude that the defence had been made out.". Similarly, a postgraduate claimed that his possession of 677 indecent images, and associated email exchanges with two paedophiles, was the basis of a planned reseach project. The Appeal Court judged that the original trial jury was right in its rejection of this claim (R v Wrigley, 2000). In April 2004, a retired University lecturer was given a conditional discharge on a collection of PoCA charges. He claimed he was doing research, but had not cleared his actions in collecting child porn from the 'net. Unusually, he was not placed on the Sex Offenders Register.

It wasn't me wot "made" it

Downloading an indecent image of a child from the Internet constitutes "making" an indecent photograph for the purposes of these Acts. The Appeal Court judgement R v Bowden, 2000 established this significant legal principle. Since "possession" of an indecent image attracts a lower penalty than "making" it, there is a clear incentive for someone with a set of computer files representing such images to admit to "possession" but to deny "making". Be under no illusion, case law is clear - downloading amounts to "making", and in this context "downloading" is taken in its widest sense, including knowingly receiving an email with an indecent image of a child as an attachment, and knowingly visiting a Website containing indecent images of children. In the latter case the image files are stored in the browser's cache, amounting to "making" - so far no case of this nature has turned on whether viewing a file amounts to "making" an image.

I didn't mean to do it, honest

The motivation of the photographer is relevant in regard to the taking of the image - offence (a) above. To be prosecuted successfully under that section of PoCA, the court must decide that the photographer deliberately intended to produce the indecent image offered in evidence (assuming that the court agrees that the image is indecent - if not, then the motives become irrelevant, as there has been no offence). The photographer may have a complete defence if it can be shown that the indecent image was taken accidentally, or that the inclusion of the indecent portion of the image was unintentional. The case law here was established by an appeal judgement (R v Graham-Kerr, 1988) concerning photographs taken at a naturist swim.

What is "indecent"?

It is for the jury (or bench of magistrates) to decide whether or not a photograph is "indecent". They must do this by "applying the recognised standards of propriety". This was another aspect of R v Graham-Kerr, drawing on the principle established in R v Stamford, 1972 - a case turning on whether or not an article sent by post was indecent, which noted the clear distinction between the terms "indecent" (not defined by legislation) and "obscene" (which is defined in legislation). Neither the legislation nor case law laid down any content, area of the body, action or pose which did or did not make a photograph "indecent", until the most recent judgement R v Oliver and others, 2002 established some clear principles. Even with that guidance, it is up to the prosecution and the defence to try to convince the court one way or the other. The age of the child in the photograph is a material consideration when deciding whether or not the image is "indecent". This aspect was determined by the Appeal Court judgement R v Owen, 1988, where a professional photographer took a number of photographs of a 14-year-old girl, some of which were offered in evidence. In these "the girl is shown in what might well be considered a provocative pose displaying her bare breasts, wearing only a loose blouse, a pair of pants and a string of beads." - note that she was not nude. Judgement R v Smethurst 2001 also dealt with a case where the defendant claimed that the (unknown) subjects of the images were over 16 (or, after May 2004, 18) - the jury had not believed him, nor did the Appeal Court. The content, pose, number of images and other factors are usually taken into account when sentencing - this process is now the subject of a set of guidelines, see below.

I've got me rights

Neither the Human Rights Act (HRA) nor the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) provide a way round PoCA. Claiming that prosecution for taking, making or possessing indecent photographs of a child infringes one's right to respect for private and family life does not work (R v Smethurst, 2001 and R v Bowden, 2000). Courts judge that children have the right to be protected from exploitation - which is in accordance with HRA, ECHR, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and subsequent UN resolutions. The rights of a child are far more important than any imagined rights of an adult to take or own indecent photographs.

PoCA and naturists

Naturists can fall foul of PoCA in various ways. For example, one person was successfully prosecuted for taking indecent photographs of a child at a naturist swim. In court, it was made clear that neither the child nor the child's parents were aware of the photograher's intentions (which he admitted were nothing to do with naturism at all).

A photograph of a child in a naturist situation may appear delightful to another naturist, grossly offensive to a particularly prudish person. If that person is a police officer, prosecutor, social worker, employer or journalist, this could create serious problems for the owner of the photograph. It has been known for a social worker to regard photographs of a fully clothed child as "indecent" because the child was alleged to be in a suspicious pose and with a provocative expression, so nudity in itself is not necessarily a factor - the judgement of whether or not an image is "indecent" is ultimately subjective and decided by the jury or bench.

Home Office figures on the application of PoCA and related legislation show that a substantial number of people accept cautions for production and possession of indecent images of children. Accepting a caution avoids the publicity of a trial, but does not mean being "let off". Anyone cautioned for an offence under these Acts should expect to be placed on the Sex Offenders' Register for several years, and will have major difficulties in any employment involving children. Being cautioned means having a criminal record.

While naturists should be concerned and cautious, the situation is not entirely gloomy. In at least one prosecution for possession of indecent photographs, an extensive collection of naturist material has been specifically excluded from consideration (R v Stanley, 1997), showing that many non-naturists are aware of the distinction between naturism and indecency.

Reviews, Revisions, Bills and Sentencing Guidelines

New Law?

PoCA and related legislation was not considered in the review of sex offences law which resulted in "Setting The Boundaries", But it was mentioned in "Protecting The Public", the White Paper published in November 2002 which prepared the ground for the Sexual Offences Bill reforming most aspects of the law on sexual offences, published early in 2003. Since the laws as detailed on this page already provide a comprehensive and loophole-free means to prosecute any person dealing in or with child pornography, this was a surprise. The basic change is to extend the definition of "child" to anyone under 18 (instead of under 16). A background document to the White Paper hilariously proposed: "There should be an exception for children aged 16 or 17 who take intimate photographs of themselves for their own use since they are over the age of consent and it seems an undue invasion of their privacy to stop them taking pictures of themselves for their own use." - this did not appear in the Bill. Instead, someone clearly realised that a great deal of glamour and soft-core photography used models between the ages of 15 and 18, and there were two exemptions - for photographs where a 16- or 17-year-old consented to the "making" or "possession", and for those photographs produced before the clause became law. But, as the Bill passed through the Lords, the latter exemption was removed (on the grounds that it gave offenders an easy excuse that was difficult to disprove). Then, the Commons removed the first exemption on the grounds that children cannot give informed consent to being the subject of child porn. At the very last stage, a new exemption was added - the "marriage" exemption which applies to many of the new offences defined in the Act, allowing under-18s who are married (or in an equivalent relationship) to make indecent photographs of one another. The full text of the Act is available on the Web, with the specific clause directly accessible if you want to go straight there.

New law from a quango?

Following a major case, the Court of Appeal requested guidance from the Sentencing Advisory Panel on sentencing for offences under PoCA and the related Acts. After producing a consultation document and considering responses from several dozen organisations and individuals (including naturists but not including CCBN), the Panel produced a set of guidelines. These recommended that the seriousness of an offence should be judged - in part - on the nature of the material detailed in the charge. To make it easier to assess this "nature of the material", images were classified into five "levels" taken from a set of categories of material found in the possession of paedophiles. (This "COPINE" classification was produced by an academic group investigating paedophiles, and was not intended to represent directly any concept of "strength" or offensiveness of the material.) The Panel recommended that "Indicative (non-erotic / non-sexualised pictures)" material - COPINE category 1 - should be excluded from these levels "because images of this nature would not be classed as indecent". The lowest level of potentially indecent material was defined as "images depicting nudity or erotic posing, with no sexual activity". This explicitly includes naturist images: "nudist (naked or semi-naked in legitimate settings/sources" (COPINE category 2). In my opinion, this would have created a real problem for naturists, since a highly-respected quango had stated that naturist images should be considered as potentially indecent. Fortunately, things have turned out in a satisfactory manner

Hail to the judges

The Sentencing Advisory Panel's advice was published in August of 2002. Several cases were pending in the Court of Appeal, waiting for this document to become available. These were R v Oliver, R v Hartrey and R v Baldwin, usually referred to as R v Oliver and others 2002, since the judgements were delivered in one combined statement on 21 November 2002. For naturists, the key element of the judgement by Lord Justice Rose, Mr Justice Gibbs and Mr Justice Davis, is as follows:

As to the nature of the material, it will usually be desirable for sentencers to view for themselves the images involved, unless there is an agreed description of what those images depict. Subject to one matter, we accept the Panel's analysis of increasing seriousness by reference to five different levels of activity, derived from the COPINE Project's description of images. We do not that agree with the Panel that COPINE typologies 2 and 3 are properly within Level 1. As it seems to us, neither nakedness in a legitimate setting, nor the surreptitious procuring of an image, gives rise, of itself, to a pornographic image. Accordingly, with that amendment to the Panel's proposals, we categorise the relevant levels as:

(1) images depicting erotic posing with no sexual activity;

(2) sexual activity between children, or solo masturbation by a child;

(3) non-penetrative sexual activity between adults and children;

(4) penetrative sexual activity between children and adults;

(5) sadism or bestiality.

Therefore, an image showing no more than "nakedness in a legitimate setting" will not be considered indecent in an English or Welsh court. Of course, nakedness in a legitimate setting could be the subject of an indecent image, but only if some other factor was involved taking it into one of the five levels detailed above. For the time being, naturists should be safe from conviction thanks to this judgement - although nobody can be guaranteed immunity from investigation.

Canadian Laws

             The Canadian Criminal Code pertaining to Nudity               

                             Section 173 (extract)

(1) Every one who wilfully does an indecent act
    (a) in a public place in the presence of one or more persons, or
    (b) in any place, with intent thereby to insult or offend any person,      
        is guilty of an offense punishable on summary conviction.

(2) Every person who, in any place, for a sexual purpose, exposes his or her 
    genital organs to a person who is under the age of fourteen years is     
    guilty of an offense punishable on summary conviction.

Sunbathing - Mere nude sunbathing is not of sufficient moral turpitude to
support a charge for doing an indecent act. (Beaupre(1971)) British Columbia
Supreme Court

"Wilfully" means "deliberate" or "intentional" as opposed to "accidental"  or
"inadvertent" and it is not further necessary to show that the accused  knew
and intended to perform the indecent act in the sight of others. (Miceli(1977))
Ontario Provincial Court

                             Section 174 (extract)
(1) Every one who, without lawful excuse,
    (a) is nude in a public place, or
    (b) is nude and exposed to public view while on private     
        guilty of an offence...

(2) For the purpose of this section, a person is nude who is so clad as to    
    offend against public decency or order.

(3) No proceedings shall be commenced under this section without the consent 
    of the Attorney General.

Under "Annotations", it is also stated: "This offence is not aimed at conduct
such as swimming nude at an isolated beach, even where the accused
misjudges the loneliness of the beach." (R.v. Benolkin et al., 1977)

Part 2

        An Appeal to all Canadian and North American Nudists/Naturists

The FCN, with the support of other North American organizations (FQN, WCANR,
TNS, NAC, AANR) is sending a letter to the Minister of Justice, Mr. Allan
Rock requesting changes to Section 174 of the Canadian Criminal Code (CCC),
to better reflect present day attitudes of a more-enlightened society towards
nudity in the context of nudist /naturist recreation and lifestyle. But, to
be effective, it is vital that individual nudists write to the Minister. We
need letters from as many nudists as possible, Canadians, visitors, and from
all who care about naturist freedoms in Canada.

To facilitate this, we are suggesting a few points you may wish to include
in your letter:

* Few people in a our society today are shocked or harmed by seeing nude
  swimming and sunbathing on a beach.

* It is insulting to women to suggest that the sight of their bare breasts
  could cause "harm". To do so reflects a confused and out-moded attitude.

* More Canadians and North Americans than ever have experienced being on
  "nude" beaches in Europe and the Caribbean. Many want to know why they
  cannot enjoy the same freedom here. As a country respected for its
  tolerance, surely Canada can be more accepting of beach nudity, and
  follow its BC Wreck Beach lead.

* Public nudity in several European countries such as Denmark, Germany and
  Holland is not treated as a criminal offence. Rather it is allowed or not
  according to the circumstances in which it occurs, and whether it shows
  consideration towards others.

* Present Canadian law indicates that it is not an offence to be nude on an
  "isolated" beach. Yet this suggests that when nude, a person is no longer
  fit to be seen, and should be separated from others - a most prejudicial
  point of view.

* Nude people on a beach or in the back garden at home, are no different
  from those who prefer clothing. It is not acceptable that they should
  be made to feel as if being nude for sunbathing or swimming is somehow
  immoral or even criminal.

* For many, women especially, body acceptance is very difficult. Nudism
  helps people feel better about their bodies, and helps enhance self-
  esteem. The human body deserves to be respected both for its beauty and
  its so-called "imperfections".

* We live in times of great stress. Nude relaxation and recreation is known
  to be one of the most effective antidotes to this stress.

* "Body acceptance is the idea - nude recreation is the way".

Please speak up! Silence is tantamount to surrendering to those who would
impose their repressed moral standards on us! This could, on the other hand,
be the best opportunity for us to make a real advance in the acceptance and
practice of Naturism in Canada.

Thank you for supporting our beloved and cherished lifestyle.

Federation of Canadian Naturists

Part 3

     The Honorable Ms. Anne McLellan
     Minister of Justice,
     323 West Block,
     House of Commons,
     Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A6
                                                  28 July, 1997
     Dear Ms. McLellan,

     In relation to the uncertainties arising from the Ontario
"topless" issue, I am writing to you as President of Canada's
national nudist organization, the Federation of Canadian
Naturists (FCN), and with the support of La Federation Quebecoise
de Naturisme (FQN), the Western Canadian Association for Nude
Recreation, the US-based Naturist Society, and the International
Naturist Federation , together representing hundreds  of
thousands of nudists. The purpose of this letter is to
communicate the deep concerns of many thousands of naturists
across Canada about the implications of any changes in the
Canadian Criminal Code  (as may be requested by the Ontario
Attorney General, Mr. Charles Harnick), relative  to those
sections pertaining to public nudity.

     The naturist/nudist movement arose out of a philosophy based
on humanist ideals. "Naturism"/ "Nudism"  has been defined as "a
way of life in harmony with nature, characterized by the practice
of communal nudity, with the intention of encouraging self-
respect, respect for others, and care for the environment." In
this context, nudity is non-sexual and non-commercial. It is
practiced under circumstances for which it is appropriate, such
as swimming and sunbathing. Furthermore, many studies have
demonstrated both the physical and psychological benefits of the
"naturist lifestyle".

     Naturism in Canada is practiced in nudist clubs, on a few
officially-sanctioned "clothing-optional" beaches (such as the
world renowned Wreck Beach, Vancouver), and on many quiet lake
and river sides across Canada. The peaceful, family-oriented
atmosphere of the nearly fifty Canadian nudist /naturist clubs.
provides a valuable respite from the stresses of everyday life.
Children who have grown up in the naturist environment tend to
have healthier attitudes toward their bodies and have better self-
esteem. In addition, Canadian nudist clubs attract thousands of
visitors every year, thus contributing to the tourism industry,
and to the local economy through taxes and employment.

     We respectfully urge you not to remove or alter Section 174
(3) of the Canadian Criminal Code ("No proceedings shall be
commenced under this section without the consent of the Attorney
General".).  To do so would make it easier for criminal charges
to be inappropriately brought against
     any person nude to public view, whether on a clothing-
optional beach or even at a nudist club. We feel strongly that
proper consideration by the Attorney General with regard to
circumstances should remain a requirement in any situation where
criminal charges have been brought under the section.

     We feel, both as naturists and as part of Canadian society,
that it is unacceptable that a woman who bares her breasts, or
indeed that a  person who is totally nude, for such activities as
swimming and sunbathing on a quiet beach, should be in fear of
being charged under the Canadian Criminal Code.  Further, we
feel it to be equally unacceptable that naturists who respect the
spirit of Sections 173 and 174, should be harassed by local
officials / bylaws that treat them (naturists) as "undesirables".
The vast majority of those who enjoy nude or semi-nude
relaxation, are ordinary, law-abiding citizens, sensitive to the
feelings of others and respectful of what is appropriate with
regard to time and place.  Nudists are not exhibitionists, but
neither do they believe they should be ashamed of their bodies,
nor that the sight of the nude human body is a cause of potential

     Many of Canada's visitors come from countries  such as
Denmark, Germany and Holland, where "toplessness" and total
nudity on beaches, in quiet park areas, and in home back gardens
is considered normal and appropriate. They find it surprising
that in Canada, a country associated with tolerance, they must
either be hidden in isolated areas, or be denied the simple
pleasure of naturism.

     With the demographics of our country, and more demands being
made for clothing-optional recreation, the FCN believes that
provincial Attorneys General will have to take a position on the
issue of designating clothing-optional beaches and other naturist
recreational public areas. Delegates of the FCN would be pleased
to meet with you or your representatives at your convenience, for
we believe that any consideration being given to changing the CCC
should be done with full public input, and that an in-person
meeting would be a good first step in that process.

     Yours sincerely,

     David Basford
     President, Federation of Canadian Naturists
     President FQN-FCN Union

     Judy Williams
     Public Relations, Federation of Canadian Naturists
     Member of The Naturist Society - Naturist Action Committee
     Chairperson, Wreck Beach Preservation Society, Vancouver, BC


     1.  Directors and members of the Federation of Canadian
          Naturists (FCN)
          P.O. Box 186, Islington, Ontario, M9A 4X2
     2.  Robert Richer, President
          La Federation Quebecoise de Naturisme (FQN)
          4545 Pierre-de-Coubertin, C.P.1000, Succursale M,
          Montreal, Qu=82bec, H1V 3R2
     3.  Bob Migliore, President
         The Western Association for Nude Recreation (WCANR)
          P.O.Box 1113, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 2K9
     4.  Lee Baxandall, The Naturist Society, President
          Shirley Mason, The Naturist Action Committee,
          Box 132, Oshkosh, WI 54902, USA
     5.  Karl Dressen, President
         The International Naturist Federation, Antwerp, Belgium
         St. Hubertusstraat 5, B-2600 Antwerp, Belgium

     The FCN and FQN have a membership of more than 3000
naturists mainly in Quebec and central Canada. They are
affiliated to the International Naturist Federation through the
FQN-FCN Union.

     The WCANR has more than 1500 members, mainly in western
Canada It is affiliated with the American Association for Nude
Recreation, which has total a membership of over 40,000.

     The Naturist Society, with nearly 20,000 members has
supported the use of clothing-optional beaches both in the United
States and in Canada. The Naturist Action Committee actively
devotes itself to the protection of these areas for the benefit
of all naturists.

     The International Naturist Federation was founded in 1952 in
France, with the major goal of encouraging naturism and naturist
organizations world-wide. Based in Antwerp, Belgium, its members
are the national naturist federations from 30 countries
representing more than 300,000 naturists.

     It is estimated that there are approximately 10,000 club-
member nudists in Canada, and more than 50,000 occasional non-
club nudists. These numbers are but a fraction of the many
ordinary people who regularly swim and sunbathe nude in hundreds
of quiet, secluded areas.

Part 4

The Honorable Mr. Mike Harris
Premier of Ontario,
Room 281, Legislative Building,
Queen's Park,
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1A1
                                                  28 July, 1997
Dear Mr. Harris,

I am writing to you in my capacity as president of the Federation
of Canadian Naturists, representing, with our sister
organizations in Quebec and Western Canada, many tens of
thousands of nudists. As part of the International Naturist
Federation, we represent Canadian naturism/nudism  to hundreds of
thousands of nudists world-wide.

We understand that, in response to the "topless" situation in
Ontario, a request may be made by the Ontario Attorney-General,
Mr. Charles Harnick, to the Federal Justice Minister, Ms. Anne
McLellan, to change the relevant sections of the Canadian
Criminal Code. We ask that changes not be made which would seek
to criminalize innocent nudity as practiced by naturists/nudists
on some beaches, and other quiet recreational areas. Our letter
to Ms. McLellan is enclosed.

With particular regard to "toplessness", it must be emphasized
that  the issue is primarily one of allowing women to have the
same right as do men, to make their own decision to wear or not
to wear a top. The fact is that the great majority of both women
and men understand and respect what is appropriate for the time
and place, and are not about to start parading semi-nude through
our towns. As evidence of this, we include a letter from Mr.
Morley Schloss of Rochester, NY., a representative of the New
York State Coalition for Topfree Equality. He confirms the
experience of other countries where top-free equality has been
granted: that women have not walked around the streets without
shirts, but have exercised their right sensibly, in such places
as in their backyards and on some beaches. Similarly, in several
European countries (Denmark, Holland) where the equal right to be
"topless" has long been acknowledged, and beach nudity/seminudity
is common, the sight of women or men in town streets without a
top is rare.

Far from some commonly held ideas, nudity as practiced by
naturists/ nudists is in the context of a philosophy of accepting
our whole selves as part of natural creation. Naturism/nudism is
based on humanistic ideals: it has been defined as "a way of life
in harmony with nature, characterized by the practice of communal
nudity, encouraging self-respect, respect for others, and care
for the environment."  Such nudity is non-sexual and non-commercial,
but is practiced under circumstances for which it is appropriate,
such as swimming and sunbathing. The vast majority of
naturists/nudists are not exhibitionists and do not condone overt
sexual behaviour. They are ordinary, law-abiding, citizens,
sensitive to the feelings of others, merely wishing to enjoy
their holiday relaxation on the beaches quietly, and in the way
they find most natural.

We understand and respect that in Canada, as compared to some
European countries, nudity on public beaches is unfamiliar and
even offensive to some. Yet it is a growing trend, and an
increasing number of naturists/nudists feel that "clothing-
optional" beaches, designated by appropriate signs, should be
established in Ontario. The example of the well known Wreck Beach
in Vancouver has shown how successful this can be. Naturists have
typically taken responsibility for the cleanliness of their
beaches, and the good behaviour of those who use them. We suggest
that such beaches be established, preferably in co-operation with
a recognized nudist group (such as a Federation of Canadian
Naturists affiliated naturist club).

Finally, may we appeal to you not to allow vocal groups with
extreme views to manipulate our laws in an attempt to control
those with whom they disagree.


David Basford
President, Federation of Canadian Naturists,
Director, Topfree Equal Rights Association

Judy Williams
Public Relations, Federation of Canadian Naturists,
Chairperson, Wreck Beach Preservation Society,
Topfree Equal Rights Association, special advisor


None of those who have contributed to this page have had legal training. If you are at all uncertain about a specific image or about photography in a specific situation, you are advised to obtain advice from someone who is formally qualified to give it. CCBN members should be able to obtain such advice via CCBN Head Office. A large reference library should have several books and journals on Criminal Law which will provide further information, including details of some of the cases noted above. The Criminal Law Review for February 2003 contains an excellent article "Sentencing for Offences involving Child Pornography", by Alasdair A Gillespie, which is particularly recommended.


If you come across child pornography, report it immediately. If the source is on the 'net, contact the Internet Watch Foundation. 


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