Memorandum submitted by British Naturism

 

We are grateful to the BBC for reporting on Mr Stringfellow's attendance at your committee as otherwise we would have been unaware that matters which threaten to add to the discrimination that we face were being discussed.

The owners of premises are reluctant to challenge a local authority over license conditions unless it is essential to their business. This is due to time, cost and a reluctance to risk upsetting councils and officials who have considerable discretion to influence the future of their business. This has caused difficulties for naturists trying to arrange events. The sex and pornography industry has the resources, and in some cases the necessary dishonesty, to overcome these conditions even if only for a while.

We know of many licenses containing conditions which discriminate against naturists and we suspect that most do. The research evidence shows that they encourage attitudes that are harmful to the very people they are ostensibly protecting. It would not be difficult to reword the conditions to avoid that problem but it does require a lead from central government.

We know of several instances where naturists have been unable to use premises for naturist events, or to attend events as naturists, due to licensing conditions. It has a particular impact on naturist families and we expect the situation to become worse. A system that is intended to regulate the sex and pornography industry is being used to regulate how people choose to dress.

Please try to ensure that legislation, regulation and advice make clear distinctions between nudity, sex and pornography.

 

November 2008