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South Florida Free Beaches /Florida Naturist Association, Inc.founders and mentors of Haulover Park's clothing-optional beach
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Law and GovernmentHelp fund SFFB's legislative program:
CONTRIBUTE TO SFFB/FNA POLITICAL ACTION FUND
SFFB/FNA is represented in Tallahassee by our paid professional legislative lobbyist Mr. Ramon Maury of the Maury Management Group.
View Online Sunshine Lobbyist Registration
SFFB/FNA also works in close association on Florida legislative issues with the Naturist Action Committee, which provides a national bill search and alert system, and a monthly online newsletter.
Much of SFFB's lobbying effort is not involved with specific bills, but is pro-active educational outreach to legislators and community leaders to inform them of our issue, countering negative lobbying from other sources. This involves personal meetings and the distribution of informational packets that constitute "a legislator's guide to naturist issues." Materials include poling data, testimonial letters from officials regarding Haulover's naturist beach, economic benefit analyses, and Paul LeValley's "Naturists: Upholders of Strong Family Values".
SFFB/FNA Policy on LegislationSFFB/FNA's principal interest is to preserve the option of skinny-dipping and nude recreation on appropriate public commons sites. Additional interests are (1) with regard to nudity law, the maintainance of Constitutional protections and the appropriate scaling of penalties between violent and non-violent offences, and (2) environmental protection of our waterways.
SFFB/FNA views simple nudity, public lewd behavior, and "adult entertainment" as separate issues, often however intermingled in bills. It supports closely targeted legislation against public sexual behavior and sexual predation, but has no position on regulating commercial "adult entertainment", as beyond the scope of our issue; however, it will seek to modify too-broadly-worded bills of any kind if they also include provisions that may interfere with skinny-dipping or nude sunbathing on appropriate public commons sites. Whenever possible, we work with bill sponsors to obtain mutually satisfactory bill substitutes.
What is the "public commons" concept?
Apart from lands held by individuals, some lands are held by the government in the name of, and for the benefit of, citizens. These are the "public commons" or "public lands". These include our federal, state, and local parks and public land reserves. The public may be restricted from some, for the benefit of wildlife and conservation; others may be dedicated to various recreational interests. Our position is that if parts of these public lands can be dedicated to skiers, surfers, golfers and others, there is no logical reason to exclude the provision of areas within public lands for naturist recreation.
Florida Legislature 2011 SessionBills opposed: due to serious finance and budget concerns this year, no bills of direct concern to naturist issues were introduced.
2011 session report by Richard Mason (pdf)
Florida Legislature 2010 SessionBills opposed: no bills of direct concern to naturist issues were introduced. We opposed SB 382 and preempted local governments from imposing restrictions on fertilizer application.
Concerns: environmental harm to waterways and costs to local government to clean up algae blooms caused by fertilizer runoff. We backed the Sobel amendment retaining local government authority.
Result: success. The preemption provision was defeated 21 to 18.
Florida Legislature 2009 SessionBills opposed: SB 1428 and HB 793, modifications to FS 901.15 to allow warrantless arrests for violations of FS 800.03.
Concerns: warrantless false arrests on 3rd-party evidence due to unfamiliarity with case law on statute; erosion of Constitutional protections.
Result: died in committee May 2, 2009.
Florida Legislature 2008 SessionBills opposed: HB 801 and SB 2354, modifications to FS 800.02 and 800.03 (a reworking of 2007 session HB 269).
Concerns: case law reinterpretion of statute; scaling of penalties.
Result: substitute drafted by sponsors as suggested by SFFB, NAC and other naturist interests to remove 800.03 but retain 800.02. However, it then died in committee.
HB 801 original text (PDF) HB 801 amended text (PDF)
Florida Legislature 2007 SessionBills opposed: House Bill 41 (Senate Bill 2544), HB 269 (SB 1842 & 2058), modifications to FS 800.03; SB 1800, to allow warrantless arrests for FS 800.03.
Concerns: case law reinterpretion of statute; scaling of penalties; erosion of Constitutional protections.
Result: HB 41 passed on House floor vote; substitute companion SB 2544 drafted per suggestions of SFFB, NAC, and other naturist interests; died without reconciliation at session end; all other bills died in committee.
Detailed 2007 bill disposition May 5, 2007
Find Your LegislatorsThe following links will provide lists of legislators by name and district. Your districts are listed on your voter registration card. You may also track bills here.
Nudity LawThe following is for informational purposes and is not intended as legal advice.
Summary of Florida Statute and Case Law on Nudity
"It is unlawful to expose or exhibit one's sexual organs in public... in a vulgar or indecent manner, or to be naked in public except in any place provided or set apart for that purpose."
- Florida Statute 800.03 (Lewdness; Indecent Exposure)
As usual, the wording of this statute is open to variant interpretations, which are ultimately defined by the courts. Fairly consistent FL case law has pronounced that "indecency" here means more than mere nudity. (The issue of providing or setting apart a place for nudity has not to our knowledge been addressed by Florida courts in relation to clothing-optional beaches.)
"Lewd" or "lascivious" means that the exposure or exhibition of the sexual organs involves an "unlawful indulgence in lust, eager for sexual indulgence".
- Goodmakers v. State, 450 So.2d 888 (Fla. 2d DCA 1984)
"... the mere act of being nude in public is not a violation of FS 800.03."
- Laurie Collins, Legal Advisor, Miami-Dade Police Department, 1992
"Proof of mere nudity or exposure is not sufficient to sustain a conviction". Conviction under FS 800.03 requires both the intent to perform, and the actual performance in a public place of, a "vulgar, indecent, lewd or lascivious act" With regard to this statute these are equivalent terms defining an act demonstrating "an unlawful indulgence in lust or a wicked, lustful, unchaste, licentious or sensual intent on the part of the person doing the act."
- Supreme Court of Florida, Standard Jury Instructions, No: 89,771
July 10, 1997 (Synopsis with quotation of relevant text)
Florida's broad Disorderly Conduct statute 877.03 is also sometimes used to arrest skinny-dippers and nude sunbathers, although case law on this statute requires a complaint from someone other than a law officer. This statute has been judged as overly broad and unconstitutional in federal court, but is still used in the Florida court system.
To complicate matters further, more than 50 Florida counties and numerous municipalities have enacted their own more restrictive laws, often defining swimsuit standards. Also, a section of the Florida Administrative Code currently prohibits nudity in Florida state parks.
It is important to note that the favorable Florida case law and absence of any Miami-Dade County anti-nudity ordinance are the twin pillars supporting the continued existence of Haulover's naturist beach.