Josh Goodman is a former staff writer for GOVERNING..E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Yesterday at the National Conference of State Legislatures annual meeting in Nashville, I set out on a search to find the weirdest booth in the massive exhibit hall. Hands-down or, more precisely, pants-down, the winner was the American Association for Nude Recreation.
The nudists, fully clothed, were passing out literature that I would rate PG-13. It extolled the merits of nudity, described the group's work and listed dozens of nudist organizations such as the Buff-A-Teers (Arizona), Bare Essentials (Delaware), Chesapeake Jay Birds (Maryland) and Healthy Hides of Houston (Texas). [All sites mildly not safe for work]
So why would these folks want to influence legislators? Their literature explains, "We ask them to remember YOUR right to practice nude recreation in appropriate settings." Translation: They don't want to be treated like perverts and sex offenders.
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Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.