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Law "catching up" with naked Kapiti Coast

Mon 15 Sep 2008 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

Kapiti Coast beaches north of Wellington may soon become official nudist beaches, which local gay residents see as "the law catching up with reality". If the council's 2008 Beach Bylaw is approved, nudity would be allowed along the 45km coastline between Paekakariki and Otaki, reports the Dominion Post. Trevor Lawler says he's lived in the area for twenty years and knows it's a popular spot for gay people and nude swimming. "We've always had it. When you come down one road to the beach, there's the gay community on the left, and on the right is the straight community. Sometime they mix a little." Earlier this year, complaints by families living in the area about the visibility of naked men led the council to reexamine the law about nudity. The new bylaw specifies that 'lewd behaviour' on the beaches would still be illegal. Lawler says the police have always been good to gay people on the Kapiti Coast's beaches. "You hardly ever see the police, only occasionally in summer they go up and down the beach, perhaps chatting to people in cars to try to slow them down. That's all. But when you get complaints, they do need to be there," he explains. Police do not have an issue with gay men on the beaches as long as they aren't being overtly sexual while there, Lawler believes. "If anyone is fornicating out in the open they deserve the consequences. If you're that stupid, you're that stupid."    

Credit: Daily News Staff

First published: Monday, 15th September 2008 - 5:50pm

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