1997 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Gunn, White (29th)
Senate Bill 2645
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 97-29-31, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, PROHIBITING PUBLIC NUDITY; TO DEFINE TERMS ESTABLISHING EXEMPTIONS TO THE PROHIBITION AGAINST PUBLIC NUDITY; TO PROVIDE A PRIVATE RIGHT OF ACTION; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 97-29-31, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
97-29-31. (1) As used in this section, the following words shall have the following meanings:
(a) "Entity" means any proprietorship, partnership, corporation, association, business trust, joint venture, joint-stock company, or other for-profit or not-for-profit organization.
(b) "Nude" means the showing of:
(i) Human male or female genitals or pubic area with less than a fully opaque covering; or
(ii) Any portion of the anal cleft or cleavage of the male or female buttocks. Attire that is insufficient to comply with this requirement includes, but is not limited to, G-strings, T-backs, thongs, and any other clothing or covering that does not completely and opaquely cover the anal cleft or cleavage of the male or female buttocks; or
(iii) The portion of the human female breast directly or laterally below a point immediately above the top of the areola with less than a fully opaque covering; this definition shall include the entire lower portion of the human female breast, but shall not include any portion of the cleavage of the human female breast exhibited by a dress, blouse, shirt, leotard, bathing suit, or other clothing, provided no portion of the areola is exposed; or
(iv) Human male genitals in a discernibly turgid state even if completely and opaquely covered.
(c) "Person" means any live human being aged ten (10) years of age or older.
(d) "Place provided or set apart for nudity" means enclosed single sex public restrooms, enclosed single sex functional shower, locker and/or dressing room facilities, enclosed motel rooms and hotel rooms designed and intended for sleeping accommodations, doctor's offices, portions of hospitals, and similar places in which nudity or exposure is necessarily and customarily expected outside the home and sphere of privacy constitutionally protected therein. This term shall not be deemed to include places where a person's conduct of being nude is used for his or her profit or where being nude is used for the promotion of business or is otherwise commercially exploited.
(e) "Public place" means any location frequented by the public, or where the public is present or likely to be present, or where a person may reasonably be expected to be observed by members of the public. Public places include, but are not limited to, streets, sidewalks, parks, beaches, business and commercial establishments (whether for profit or not for profit, whether open to the public at large, or whether entrance is limited by a cover charge or membership requirement), hotels, motels, restaurants, nightclubs, country clubs, cabarets, and meeting facilities utilized by any religious, social, fraternal or similar organization. Premises, or portions thereof, such as hotel rooms, used solely as a private residence, whether permanent or temporary in nature, shall not be deemed a public place.
(2) It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly or intentionally appear nude in a public place or in any other place that is readily visible to the public, except a place provided or set apart for nudity. It shall also be unlawful for any person or entity maintaining, owning, or operating any public place to operate and to knowingly, or with reason to know, permit or allow any person to appear nude in such public place, except a place provided or set apart for nudity.
(3) A person violating subsection (2) of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, on conviction, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) or be imprisoned not exceeding one (1) year, or both.
(4) This section shall not be deemed to address photographs, movies, video presentations, or any other non-live performances.
(5) This section may be prosecuted by a municipal or county attorney or by private action brought by an aggrieved party in a court of competent jurisdiction.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.