World Naked Bike Rides are becoming popular in many cities. Bellingham has a naked bike ride also. Police have allowed the ride, but cited some of the participants if they get a complaint from the public. This process can be cumbersome. Who does one choose to cite in a huge crowd of moving cyclists?
Here is an easier compromise between the popularity of this event and the laws about indecent exposure: Bellingham police could temporarily suspend enforcement of these laws during certain events and protests. This would allow, but also contain, the nudity to special occasions. Seattle allows nudity to happen during the Fremont Solstice Festival, but this doesn’t necessarily mean nudity happens all over the city every day.
Some people worry that allowing a bit of nudity will create a slippery slope to a city where nudity is common practice, but San Francisco has recently tightened up its laws against public nudity. Nudity used to be more common in San Francisco, but a recent revision of ordinances has tightened up the restrictions. Even with San Francisco’s new and stricter ordinance, exception is made for special events.
Bellingham could learn from these other cities and allow nudity for special occasions.