While those who
in California know there's actually a set of
guidelines and etiquette that comes along with
privilege, on the opposite end of the scope is the law
that bans nudity in your own yard.
Calif. - One former resident of this conservative beach
community, Miguel Angelo Ferreira, a.k.a. the Naked Man,
shocked so many people with his physical presence and
nudity that some feared it could ruin tourism.
While other cities in California have policies
permitting such, Orange County once was less
prohibitive. Less than a decade ago, Huntington Beach
city council member scrapped a proposed ban on nudity in
public places. Designed to remove a proposed business
serving up drinks and lap dances from Beach Boulevard in
Huntington Beach, other methods managed to make the
licensing process more challenging, the laws more
restrictive, thus (in theory) protecting school children
To prevent Ferreira from being naked at his home, the
district attorney's office suggested that Huntington
Beach officials ban public nudity, rather than file
indecent exposure charges that require evidence the act
was sexually charged (which it didn't seem to be).
What created the most debate among council members was
not the ban, but another city law that prohibits people
from taking off their swimsuits in public. Should you visit or
decide to live in Huntington Beach, don't take offense
at this proclivity to be discreet. Just walk out on the
beach during the US Open of Surfing (as opposed to the
US Clothed of Surfing) and you'll see everything but a
few inches of the body as thong-strapped girls (and
sometimes guys), walk along with what looks like no
clothes at all from the back side.
One council member,
Debbie Cook, questioned the issue of such swimsuits in
the August 6, 2007 meeting to decide the law on nudity.
Struck from the language which would have made it
illegal to wear a thong bikini was the term "naval
cleft". Jill Hardy, a former Huntington Beach High
School teacher and council member stated that there
would probably be at least one of her former students
who could have been arrested under these new guidelines,
if the "naval cleft" issue had not been addressed.
questioning whether the law was needed at all, deferred
back to Police Chief Kenneth Small, whose office, he
said, fielded over 100 calls about one man. Although
Ferreira moved out of
Huntington Beach, the police chief said that to not
create a law would be inviting this man
back to town.
We could find no
reference to Miguel Angelo Ferreira's current residence
and complaints filed (if any) now that he's moved.
It would be interesting to find out how he's behaving in
his new city.
For those living in
Huntington Beach who walk nude through their house to
grab a towel they may have forgotten once leaving the
shower, it's highly unlikely you'd be arrested, the
police chief said.
A statue of a nude,
male surfer in Huntington Beach was not without
controversy. The city once considered placing
pants on the statue.