The City of Ashland has spent a disproportionate amount of time, compared to other cities, on dealing with the issue of public displays of nudity thanks in part to a few clothing liberated residents. It has come down to this as the City Council enacted a ban this week and the ACLU shot back with a legal attack.
The Ashland Tidings wrote, “…Ashland already bans the display of genitals downtown and in parks. On Thursday, Mayor John Stromberg and the City Council received a letter from the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon asking the council to reconsider its plan to adopt a citywide ban on nudity. ACLU of Oregon Executive Director David Fidanque wrote that the “ACLU believes the proposed ordinance is unconstitutional and would be overturned by the courts. We urge you to reject it.” Fidanque said the citywide nudity ban would violate the Oregon Constitution’s protections for free expression.
On Tuesday night, Ashland resident and ACLU member Ralph Temple said he had been authorized to say that if the council adopted the citywide ban, the ACLU is likely to take legal action. “Don’t spend the taxpayers money uselessly on litigation,” he urged councilors. However, in voting for the citywide ban, Lemhouse said councilors shouldn’t let themselves be threatened by the ACLU.”I don’t think we should let any group dictate what our policies are through threats and intimidation,” he said.
Now the question arises on what the Oregon Supreme Court might do.