Oregon Town Passes Public Nudity Ban; ACLU Threatens Legal Action

The Ashland City Council has adopted a citywide ban on public nudity.

The city had already banned the display of genitals in parks and in downtown. Tuesday night's decision to expand the ban brought a threat of legal action from the American Civil Liberties Union, which says it violates the Oregon Constitution's protection of free expression.

The nudity issue arose in 2008, when a woman dubbed "the naked lady" started bicycling around Ashland wearing only a G-string. More complaints came last summer, when a retired computer programmer visiting the city took nude strolls near an elementary school. A vacationer from Minnesota exposed himself in October.

In a 1985 decision, the Oregon Court of Appeals upheld Portland's ban on public nudity. But the court also ruled that public nudity can be a protected form of expression, such as during a protest.