To The Daily Sun,
An open letter in response to July 9 authored by Fred Van Nest:
You, sir, should read the Constitution. Nowhere in that document are you guaranteed "freedom of expression" as you perceive it — namely nudity. Certainly, everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and the expression of that opinion; namely an act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used. A breast is not a medium.
The First Amendment to the Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble, or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.
Free speech does not include one's body — or nipples. Even the court judgment you cited from New York had more to do with the decriminalization of nudity — not the legalization of nudity. This has nothing to do with tolerance whatsoever. This has far more to do with the ability of parents and others to be able to raise their children how they choose; to be able to be at ease and comfort in a public place. And we do indeed have a right to that.
Now, no one may legally enter a topless lounge under the age of 18 in any state in this country. And it isn't because of the alcohol. It is because there is an inherent adult dimension to nudity. The law recognizes that. But as a nudist, you clearly know this.
Yes, Mr. Van Nest, you left that part out. You are a nudism advocate. And for the most part, nudists are restricted to specific beaches, and private enclaves where they can go about their business as they choose. Nudism is a lifestyle choice. Period. And most reasonable nudists (or naturists as some call themselves) do not go about demanding the ability to strut their stuff in public. If this woman wants to go out and about, there are nudist parks in New Hampshire where she can do so.
This country is not better served by Ms. Burke having to tolerate bare-chested exhibitionists. I was at the beach that day, and I promise you that any and all of the photos taken with cell phones that day may not be put on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, in this newspaper, or any news broadcast earlier than 10 p.m. It does not serve us to. It does not advance this country forward. It does not advance this state. But you demean the cause of racial equality, gender equality, and marriage equality by your attempt to equate it to Free The Nipple.
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