Montana has officially run out of real problems to tackle. Or maybe Republican State Representative and Morality Police Chief David Moore just needs to take up a hobby to fill his spare time.
You see, Representative Moore is so worried about indecency that he wants to strengthen existing indecent exposure laws by introducing a bill that would crack down on the horrors of shirtless men… and maybe even tackle the scourge of yoga pants-clad women.
So what constitutes indecent exposure under Moore’s proposal (which, for a first offense, could lead to a $500 fine and half a year in prison)?
… exposes the person’s genitals, pubic hair, or anus or exposes the areola or nipple of the person’s breast with anything less than a fully opaque covering while in a public place or visible from a public place without taking reasonable precautions to prevent exposure, and disregards whether a reasonable person would be offended or alarmed by the act…
Also included is any “costume, device or covering that gives the appearance of or simulates” the above. When questioned as to the specific implications of his bill, Moore’s response was anything but reassuring:
The Republican from Missoula said tight-fitting beige clothing could be considered indecent exposure under his proposal.
“Yoga pants should be illegal in public anyway,” Moore said after the hearing.
Moore said he wouldn’t have a problem with people being arrested for wearing provocative clothing but that he’d trust law enforcement officials to use their discretion.
Even the lighter sentences under Moore’s bill come with strings attached — and not only because a lot more qualifies as indecent exposure under his version.
Currently, a person convicted of indecent exposure three times could be sentenced to life in jail and up to $10,000. In an effort to promote enforcement of the law, Moore said, the bill lessens that sentencing to not more than five years in jail and $5,000.
It remains to be seen, of course, whether Moore’s fellow representatives are as committed as he is to shielding the world from exposed nipples and tightly-clad posteriors. But if the legislature gig doesn’t work out, I understand that Saudi Arabia’s Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice is always looking for volunteers…