Thursday, April 26, 2007

AANR Alert: Oregon HJR 56

Addendum: Though this alert is directed at AANR members, it would serve the purposes of all nudists and naturists in Oregon to go on record as opposing this shortsighted bill.

Oregon House Joint Resolution 56 proposes a new Section 12 be added to Article XV of the Oregon State Constitution to allow state or local governments to regulate 'strip acts'. Strip acts are defined, in part, as

"a person or persons appear nude or partially nude, or in which a person or persons become nude or partially nude ... before one or more members of the public."

That this definition could (and would) be interpreted beyond the intended scope of regulating adult strip acts, and applied to nudists, is obvious. The measure also allows for local jurisdictions to further "establish a more detailed definition of a strip act"


AANR Alert


Dear AANR members, and especially those AANR Northwest Members in Oregon:

We are writing to you about Oregon HJR 56, a measure that presents a serious threat to nude recreation for all who live in this state.

Why we are concerned…

If HJR 56 passes, Oregon voters will be invited to pass an amendment to the Oregon Constitution giving local communities the power to regulate and prohibit nudity and “stripping.” As nudists, we are concerned with this bill because it represents a major change in the status quo.

Oregon State courts have consistently held that, under the First Amendment of the Oregon State Constitution, citizens of this state enjoy greater rights to freedom of speech and expression than under the U.S. Constitution. As a result, these courts have refused to allow placing undue restraints on nudity and nude dancing while other courts throughout this country increasingly allow it to be regulated out of existence.

The bottom line?

HJR 56 is a giant leap towards regulating, and ultimately outlawing, nudity in Oregon. And if that can happen there it can happen anywhere.

The resolution that keeps coming back…

If any of this sounds familiar, you are not imagining things. Proponents of this measure have succeeded in getting a version of it on the Oregon ballots a number of times before. And state voters have rejected those. AANR and AANR NW successfully stopped other attempts to get similar resolutions through the legislature in 1999.

One would hope those seeking to curtail nudity would have gotten the message about how the voters feel, but they haven't. Instead, they have come back this year just as determined as ever. The proponents of this amendment have now included wording changes designed to make the amendment sound more attractive (for example, outlawing many forms of nudity within its definitions, but using blanket terms like “stripping and strippers” to give the illusion that only unsavory activities are targeted).

HJR 56 is about to receive a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee where it has been assigned.

What AANR, AANR NW, and your Oregon Government Affairs Team are doing…

Upon learning about HJR 56, AANR NW and Oregon state GAT Chair Shirley Gauthier contacted the offices of friendly lawmakers, with whom she has cultivated strong working relationships, to obtain critical background information in a short period of time. She also has arranged for none other than John Kinman to attend the Judiciary Committee meeting scheduled first thing in the morning next Monday, April 30. John currently serves as both AANR’s President and President of The Willamettans club of Marcola, Oregon (which is to be the site of the 2007 convention). Past AANR President and Convention Chair Pat Brown is currently also re-arranging her calendar to be present. She was one of the team members who helped stop a similar measure years ago.

For its part, the AANR office is equipping the team with special "legislator's packets" containing a legal analysis of the problems with HJR 56, information about the wholesome nature of family nude recreation, and articles about the positive economic impact of nude recreation on tourism from such impressive sources as The Wall Street Journal and Forbes.

We're also asking for help from our members in Oregon with contacting lawmakers. (If you are not from Oregon, we appreciate your monitoring events, but ask that you not make any contacts about this.)

What you can do…

It would be of tremendous help for members in Oregon to send an e-mail message to at least one of the Representatives on the Judiciary Committee. Click on the link below and that will take you to the AANR Legislative Action Center


If you prefer to write directly from your computer or place a call the contacts are:

Representative Greg Macpherson
Party: D District: 38
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1438
Interim Phone: 503-635-2648
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE., H-385, Salem, OR, 97301
Interim Address: 322 Second Street, Lake Oswego, OR, 97034

Representative Jeff Barker Party: D District: 28
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1428
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE., H-476, Salem, OR, 97301
Interim Address: PO Box 6751 , Aloha, OR, 97007

Representative Suzanne Bonamici
Party: D District: 34
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1434
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, H-374, Salem, OR, 97301

Representative Betty Komp
Party: D District: 22
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1422
Interim Phone: 503-884-2337
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, H-276, Salem,, OR, 97301

Representative Tobias Read
Party: D District: 27
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1427
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, H-489, Salem, OR, 97301

Representative Gene Whisnant
Party: R District: 53
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1453
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, H-372, Salem, OR, 97301

Representative Kevin Cameron (SPONSOR OF THE BILL)
Party: R District: 19
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1419
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, H-383, Salem, OR, 97301

Representative Linda Flores
Party: R District: 51
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1451
Interim Phone: 503-722-1419
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE., H-287, Salem, OR, 97301
Interim Address: PO Box 55, Clackamas, OR, 97015-0055

Representative Wayne Krieger
Party: R District: 1
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1401
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE., H-378, Salem, OR, 97301

It is not necessary to discuss nude recreation in your letter. In fact, probably the strongest argument against HJR 56 is that it makes dangerous changes to the First Amendment of a state constitution that has served Oregon citizens well for many, many years. We have provided a template for framing your letter, but a brief message that's to the point and in your own words is most effective. Should you have any questions, please contact Patricia Orner, Government Affairs Coordinator, of the AANR office.

Thank you, in advance, for your assistance with this urgent matter. Please also accept our thanks for your support as an AANR / AANR NW member. Your help through Association dues, and your continued interest in issues affecting nude recreation, make you an important partner in our advocacy efforts.

Sample letter for Oregon voters:

As a registered voter in the state of Oregon, I am writing to express my strong opposition to HJR56 and HB 3547.

To be perfectly honest, I prefer the Oregon state Constitution just the way it is. The Constitution protects fundamental freedoms such as my right to free speech, freedom of assembly, and even my right to petition you with this message. I take added comfort in the fact that our Constitution gives me greater protection than under existing Federal law.
This language has stood the test of time.

HJR 56 wants to tamper with success simply to make it a bit more difficult for adult businesses. The trade-off is not worth it. I do not wish to see my tax dollars spent defending the lawsuits that are sure to follow.

I would also note that voters have rejected similar ballot measures as HJR56 several times. Why ignore this clear will of the people.

I thank you for your time and ask you to vote in opposition to HJR56 and HB 3547.

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