Making A Difference

What AANR does for you and your community

 

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As a member of AANR you already know that it offers a great discount when you visit clubs and resorts.  If you’re reading this right now, you also know about your subscription to The Bulletin.

Sometimes Government Affairs and Legal efforts get less attention from members but they are no less important.  Since 1931 when the roots of your association took hold, legal and legislative fights have been a critical reason we pay dues in support. 

True to that purpose, here’s a bit more about what we do, why it matters to members, and the successes AANR has earned for nudists in just the past few years.

Established Experts.  Over the years AANR and its regions have established themselves as experts qualified to give testimony within the courts, administrative agencies, as well as in local and state legislative hearings:

AANR Leaders give testimony about wholesome nude recreation before local, state, and national park panels to ensure that protections for established nude beaches remain, to keep camera-carrying drones from the skies over these beaches, and to create more.  In fact, in December 2017 AANR West President Gary Mussel and members of his team were appearing at meetings of local beach boards in ______________ California to remind them about the contribution nudists make to local economies.  This matters to members because keeping lines of communication open with the officials who control our beaches is critical to keeping them open, and opening new ones in an age where a small misunderstanding or unresolved issue quickly lead to closure.

Custody Hearings.  Another subset of cases requiring expert nudist testimony are family law proceedings where a complainant (sometimes an ex-spouse, sometimes a nosy relative) makes an issue of a family’s visits to nudist resorts or enjoyment of simple nudity in their own home and backyard.  For example, within 2017 alone, such cases have included:

  • Two Florida families – one in Pasco County, the other in Manatee County faced threats. In the Pasco case a couple practiced simple, casual, nudity in their home… including at times when the woman’s ten year old son had custodial visitation with mom.  When the ex-spouse raised allegations that this was tantamount to child abuse, AANR provided legal precedents to the couple’s attorney. Per special arrangements I eventually provided expert witness testimony at hearings in which the court eventually refused to enter a finding of abuse.  In the Manatee situation a mother-in-law threatened to call child protective services on a family who brought their five and two year old children to their home nudist club. In this case education which included AANR written and online materials helped to allay the in –laws concerns and diffuse the threat.

 

  • In Georgia a member enjoyed occasional nudist parks.  There were no other family members involved in his visits, but his former spouse attempted to use the member’s participation in nudism to demand increased spousal financial support on grounds alike to an “at fault” divorce.  AANR’s legal team provided guidance, attorney referral information, and case law which addressed the situation.

 

  • In Wisconsin a member couple who practice simple nudity in the home and make occasional visits to clubs in the Midwest triggered an ex-spouse to request a modification of custody.  AANR is in the process of educating this couple’s attorney on the legitimacy of family nudism, including information about various state legislatures and statutes---from West Virginia to Tennessee---that recognize it as legitimate.

These matter to members because each victory for family nudism helps protect and preserve what you enjoy with your children, grandchildren, (and for your fellow club members with children) as legitimate. 

 

Nudity on Public Lands.  AANR and its regions advocate for nudity within appropriate settings under appropriate circumstances on public lands.  Currently we are working with the legal counsel in an Arizona case in which a member was cited for appearing nude on a remote portion of a lakefront used by a local nudist group.  We have already assisted this attorney with answering questions and planning strategy.  We have already achieved a first round of success in that it has been assigned and treated at a misdemeanor rather than a much more serious felony level … an initial threat faced and diffused.   This matters to members because officials need to be held accountable and limited to enforcing nudity laws as they are written.

 

Obscenity and Pornography Cases.  On a regular basis AANR gets requests from attorneys, courts, and the private sector seeking guidance about the difference between tasteful, honest depictions of the human body and obscenity.  This includes help with discerning between depictions that include persons of all ages in family snapshots versus child pornography. In 2017 AANR provided attorneys ranging from Florida to Minnesota with citations to the federal and state court precedent that establish such boundaries (The Florida case was decided successfully in a nudist’s favor, the Minnesota case is still under consideration.)   This matters to members because a picture is worth a thousand words.  If we want that picture to include legitimate representations of nudists from all stages of life we must remind those who enforce and interpret our laws that publications like The Bulletin serve an important purpose.

These education efforts extend beyond the judicial system.  For example, in August 2017 my daughter Alix and I attended the National Conference of State Legislatures and had productive discussions with key decision-makers at Facebook about the difference between mere nudity and obscene displays on their social media platform.  While I cannot point directly to changes on that platform, we have reached the right people with the right message.

These efforts matter to members because, while we believe that the human body is not obscene, we must continually remind legal and corporate decision-makers of that fact to avoid further blurring of the line.

Immigration Proceedings.  Did you know that AANR legal staff has offered testimony in US Immigration Courts about persons who would face severe criminal prosecution in their home countries simply for advocating for nudism in those countries?  In some specific situations, AANR helped establish a path for requesting political asylum.  This matters to members because, while rare, these cases speak to enjoyment of nudism (and more importantly the belief in practicing it) as a fundamental human right.  In the most recent case, an administrative law judge found that concerns about nudism persecution were legitimate and was in the process of determining the level of persecution.