SPOKANE, Wash. -- The Spokane City Council will discuss a proposed ordinance that would make unlawful public exposure a criminal misdemeanor on Monday night.
The ordinance is in response to the ongoing controversy surrounding nearly nude baristas according to Spokane leaders. People who are opposed to the nearly nude baristas argue that children and others who do not want to see their exposed bodies cannot avoid it.
"It probably wouldn't stop here, you know, if ordinances are being passed that quickly and easily. I don't see why it couldn't go any further than that," said Sarah Birnel, the owner of XXXtreme Expresso.
According to city documents, there is currently no separate charge in the Spokane Municipal Code for unlawful public exposure. The new, proposed ordinance would create a separate charge designated as unlawful public exposure, which would still be a criminal misdemeanor.
The ordinance also defines the boundaries of unlawful public exposure. The exact ordinance reads:
""Unlawful public exposure" means the exposure of any of the following body parts of the person without a full and opaque covering in other than a public place provided or set apart for nudity:
- Any part of the male or female genitals, pubic hair, pubic area, perineum, anus, or bottom one-half of the anal cleft;
- Any part of the areola or nipple of the female breast;, or
- More than one-half of the part of the female breast located below the top of the areola."
It does not apply to exposure for scientific, cultural, or educational purposes, expression that is protected by the federal or state constitution, children younger than ten, or an exposed female breast for nursing purposes.