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Montana bill banning Lycra and other figure-hugging gear, nipple exposure and naked cycling shelved

Proposed law drawn up in response to naked bike ride last year - critics called it sexist

Plans for a law in Montana that was drawn up in response to a naked bike ride have been shelved following criticism that it would have also criminalised wearing figure-hugging clothing such as cycling gear, swimming trunks and yoga pants in public.

Representative David Moore tabled House Bill 365 on Tuesday, which would have extended the state’s indecent exposure law to include any exposure of the nipples – whether women’s or men’s.

It would also have applied to clothing that “gives the appearance or simulates” someone’s buttocks, genitals, pelvic area, or the female nipple.

However the Judiciary Committee of the Republican led state’s House of Representatives voted to shelve the proposed legislation, meaning there is no prospect of it becoming law during the current term.
It had initially beendrawn up in response to the Bare as you Dare naked bike ride near the University of Montana’s campus in Missoula in August last year.

Despite some local residents’ concerns, the event had been given a permit because city officials were concerned that failing to do so might be interpreted as taking away their right to freedom of expression.

Mr Moore had said that some sports clothing might have been banned under his proposals, but added: “Yoga pants should be illegal in public anyway,” reports the Billings Gazette.

Speaking in support of the bill before it was shelved, he said: “I want Montana to be known as a decent state where people can live within the security of laws and protect their children and associates from degrading and indecent practices.

“I believe this bill is written preserving that reputation.”

Under the state’s existing indecent exposure law, first time offenders face a fine of up to $500 and a maximum of six months in jail, with those penalties increased for repeat offenders.

State representative Virginia Court told Mr Moore that seeking to ban clothing on the grounds it showed the outline or appearance of a woman’s nipple was sexist.

“I think you are kind of being a little prejudiced against women,” she said.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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