Fredericksburg Seeks to Ban Public Nudity

City code currently prohibits only indecent exposure

Wednesday, Jan 9, 2013  |  Updated 2:15 PM EDT
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The city council of Fredericksburg, Va., is taking steps to ban public nudity... because, yes, it's actually legal to be naked in public there.

The city code as it reads right now prohibits indecent exposure, defined as public nudity with the intent to commit an obscene act. But it doesn't cover just plain ol' nakedness.

While this is probably great for tourism, Fredericksburg.com reports:

This gap in the code was recently exposed when city police cited a man for strolling downtown sans pants. When his case got to court, it was thrown out because prosecutors could not demonstrate that he had performed or intended to perform an obscene act.

The pants-less man wasn’t approaching people in a sexual manner -- he was just walking around town without pants or underwear.

On Tuesday, all but two members of the city council voted to prohibit nudity in all public spaces, regardless of intent.

The dissenting members, Brad Ellis and Matt Kelly, said they didn't think it was necessary to change the code after only one incident. Passing a city ordinance requires two readings and sets of votes, council clerk Tonya B. Lacey told NBC Washington. The second is set for Jan. 22, when it could be voted into law.

Translation: Next time you're headed to Fredericksburg, you should probably bring your pants.

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