Nudists Upset They Can't Get Naked At Public Pool & Gym
A group of nudists say they are being discriminated against after they were banned from reserving a city pool and gym in Orange County.For the past eight years, the Naturists in Orange County have reserved the City Gym and Pool in Huntington Beach for private gatherings, where they swim and play volleyball and basketball without cumbersome clothes. But according to the L.A. Times, they now say that City Manager Fred Wilson "arbitrarily imposed" a regulation in September 2015 preventing the group from reserving space. At Tuesday's city council meeting, roughly 15 members of the group gathered—fully clothed—to protest the regulation.
"We come in and cover the windows so people can swim, play volleyball, basketball or do whatever activities are available," R. Allen Baylis, an attorney and Naturists member, told the Times. Baylis also told the OC Register that Wilson "adopted the resolution on his own with no input from the City Council."
The newly imposed regulation prohibits nudity at any city recreation facility, arguing that all of that nakedness gets in the way of city employees' ability to do their jobs. Wilson and City Atty. Michael Gates say that city employees have complained about the nude meet-ups for years, and that the regulation enforces a 2007 city ordinance banning nudity in public places. California law prohibits public exposure "where there are present other persons to be offended or annoyed," according to the Register.
The group, however, argues that the ordinance and the law were not violated as they closed the facility and covered the windows to ensure that anyone who is not a member or invited guest could not catch a glimpse. They also argue that public employees volunteered to work the events and they never received any complaints.
Rolf Holbach, president of the Southern California Naturist Assn., is asking the city to rescind the regulation and allow the group to continue their events unhindered by regulations and clothes.
"It would be unfortunate to let all our members and followers know that we, as respectful and law-abiding naturists, are now being singled out and are no longer welcome in the city," he told the Times.
No action was taken on the regulation on Tuesday because it was not on the council agenda.