Should Nearly-Nude Baristas Cover Up? Both Sides Want You To De - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

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  • Should Nearly-Nude Baristas Cover Up? Both Sides Want You To Decide

Should Nearly-Nude Baristas Cover Up? Both Sides Want You To Decide

Posted: Updated:
Should baristas be allowed to wear pasties and g-strings at coffee shops on busy public streets? Should baristas be allowed to wear pasties and g-strings at coffee shops on busy public streets?
SPOKANE, Wash. -

UPDATE: 
On Monday night, Spokane City Council decided the public exposure ordinance would be up to the voters, provided 8,000 signatures are collected. 

Previous Coverage: 

It's an issue that's been brewing for months: should baristas be allowed to wear pasties and g-strings at coffee shops on busy public streets?

Spokane City Councilors voted down an ordinance that would put restrictions on public exposure last year, but the same ordinance passed in the Spokane Valley city limits. Now? It's before Spokane City Councilors once again and both sides agree on one thing: it should go on the November ballot for you to decide.

"People say things like, ‘It's no different than what you'd see at the beach,' but it absolutely is," opponent of the lingerie baristas and Spokane mother Kimberly Curry told KHQ's Kelsey Watts. "You don't see girls with pasties or body paint or g-strings at the beach."

Curry and fellow mothers like Beth Solscheid and Hillary Van Akin are putting a citizen initiative before Spokane City Councilors Monday night asking for the baristas – and anyone else who can be seen in public – to cover up a little.

"I [was driving by a stand] with my children and there's no way to avoid it," Van Akin added. "You see it from the street, you see it driving down the street."

"We feel like we're being pretty reasonable," Curry explained. "We're not asking them to wear turtlenecks or anything like that... we'd just like them to wear bras or bikinis."

These opponents of the nearly nude baristas want to see the issue go to a public vote – and so does the owner of one lingerie coffee chain. The mothers are confident the public will support the ordinance; the business owner is confident the public will shoot it down.

"We both want different outcomes, but I am very pleased that people get to vote on it," Sarah Birnel, who owns Devil's Brew and Bare Beans told KHQ's Kelsey Watts. "I totally understand [Curry's] view, I just don't think about that part, it's all business to me so we're coming from different places."

At Monday's meeting, City Councilors can approve the ordinance outright, refer it to the November ballot, or ask supporters to come up with 8,000 signatures before moving forward with a public vote.

Here is the full text of the proposed ordinance:

Summary of Measure

THE LAW AS IT CURRENTLY EXISTS:

While the Spokane Municipal Code prohibits lewd conduct and indecent exposure and subjects such conduct to a criminal penalty, it does not prohibit the exposure of certain human body parts while in a public place.

THE EFFECT OF THE PROPOSAL, IF APPROVED:

This ordinance would make the knowing exposure of designated body parts in a public place without a full or opaque covering unlawful and subject to a criminal misdemeanor penalty. The ordinance would establish a regulatory framework regarding unlawful public exposure, provide definitions, including the definition for " designated body parts," impose a criminal misdemeanor penalty, and provide for exceptions and affirmative defenses.

ORDINANCE NO. C - ____

AN ORDINANCE RELATING TO UNLAWFUL PUBLIC EXPOSURE; ADOPTING A NEW SECTION 10.06.050 TO CHAPTER 10.06 OF THE SPOKANE MUNICIPAL CODE

The City of Spokane does ordain:

Section 1. That there is adopted a new section 10.06.050 to chapter 10.06 of the Spokane Municipal Code to read as follows:

Section 10.06.050 Unlawful Public Exposure

A. Purpose.

The purpose and intent of this section is to establish a regulatory framework regarding exposure of certain human body parts while in a public place, and providing penalties for violations thereof, all in the interest of protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the residents of the City of Spokane.

B. Definitions

unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the definitions used in this chapter shall have the following meanings:

"Expose or exposure" means to reveal or otherwise render open to view in a public place.

"Full and opaque covering" means material which is securely attached over or around the shoulders, neck or back, and which is not transparent or translucent. Body paint, body dye, tattoos, liquid latex whether wet or dried, or any similar substance applied to the skin surface shall not be considered opaque covering. Any substance which can be washed off the skin is not full and opaque covering as required by this chapter.

" Designated body parts" for purposes of this chapter means exposure of:

any part of the male or female genitals, or anus; or

more than one -half of the female breast by area; or

any part of the areola or nipple of the female breast.

"Public place" means an area visible to public view, including any place in which the general public has a right to be present or view, whether or not conditioned upon payment of a fee.

C. Unlawful public exposure prohibited - facilitation.

It shall be unlawful for any person:

To knowingly expose a designated body part in a public place without a full and opaque covering.

Who owns, manages, or operates any retail sales or retail service business to knowingly facilitate, permit, encourage, or cause to be committed whether by commission or omission, another person to expose a designated body part in a public place without a full and opaque covering.

D. Exceptions to unlawful public exposure.

The prohibitions set forth in SMC 10.06.050 shall not apply to the following:

Breastfeeding or expressing milk, regardless of where it occurs;

Use of public places where privacy is customary including, but not limited to bathrooms, saunas, and changing rooms associated with licensed businesses;

3. Classes, seminars or lectures conducted for scientific or education purposes, including but not limited to art classes and medical classes;

4. Businesses where medical procedures occur;

5. Children under the age of 10 years;

6. A play, television broadcast, or other dramatic work; and

7. Conduct that is subject to regulation of adult entertainment establishments under the Spokane Municipal Code.

E. Affirmative Defenses.

It is an affirmative defense to prosecution for a violation of SMC 10.06.050 that the unlawful public exposure, when considered in the context in which it was presented, provided actual literary, artistic, political, or scientific value and was not provided for commercial or sexual exploitation or with an emphasis on an appeal to a prurient interest.

F. Penalties and enforcement.

A violation of 10.06.050 is a misdemeanor.

Section 2. Effective Date.

This ordinance, if approved by the voters, shall take effect and be in full force upon the issuance of the certificate of election by the Spokane County Auditor's Office.

Section 3. Severability.

Should any provision of this section or its application to any person or circumstances be held invalid, the remainder of the chapter or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected.

Section 4. That this ordinance be submitted to the voters of the City of Spokane for their approval or rejection at the next applicable election under Section 82 of the Spokane City Charter.

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