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Anti-Nudity Law Poses Puzzler

BRADENTON, Fla. (Reuters) - A county in Florida has barred women from exposing more than 75 percent of their breasts in public, and everyone from showing more than two-thirds of their buttocks.

Now sheriff's deputies in Manatee County are wondering how they will calculate compliance.

"I don't think we'll be tape-measuring," sheriff's spokesman Dave Bristow told Reuters Wednesday.

The Manatee County Commission passed the measure in a 4-3 vote Tuesday. After it takes effect on January 1, violators would face $500 fines and 60 days in jail.

Bristow said deputies would meet with state and county attorneys to determine how to interpret and enforce the law. He said they might seek a volunteer for a test arrest to see if the law holds up in court. Otherwise, deputies will focus on flagrant violators.

"It would have to be well beyond what the ordinance said, like naked," Bristow said.

Supporters of the measure said it would promote a higher community standard in the county, on Florida's Gulf coast south of Tampa Bay. Adult nightclub owners said it was a thinly veiled attempt to put them out of business.

The ordinance allows exceptions for locker rooms, theatrical performances, nursing mothers and other situations in which nudity "is not a guise or pretense utilized to exploit nudity for profit or commercial gain."


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