Rep. David Moore introduced a bill to the Montana House Judiciary committee that would outlaw exposing men and women’s nipples and any item of clothing that “gives the appearance or simulates” a person’s buttocks, genitals, pelvic area and women’s nipples.
That means any tight-fitting skin-tone clothing would be considered indecent exposure.
Moore introduced the bill after a “Bare as you Dare” bicycle event came through downtown Missoula, Montana, on Aug. 17, 2014. Many participants rode their bikes through the city completely naked in what organizers called a celebration of body image and bicyclists’ right to use public roads.
After a hearing on the bill, Moore also opined on other garments that wouldn’t be covered in the legislation. “Yoga pants should be illegal in public anyway,” he said.
Walt Hill, a retired professor who initiated the bill 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.”
According to Billings Gazette, he added: “I believe this bill is written preserving that reputation.”
Under current laws, a person convicted of indecent exposure could be sentenced to life in jail and up to a $10,000 fine. In order to promote enforcement, the bill reduced the sentence to no more than five years in jail and a $5,000 fine for three offenses.
Moore was unsure if constituents would oppose the bill, but Rep. Virginia Court, D-Billings expressed concern that the provisions about women’s nipples unfairly targets women. “I think you are kind of being a little prejudiced against women,” Court said.