(The Center Square) – A lawmaker has a plan at the Wisconsin Capitol to make sure children are away from and cannot ride in Madison’s Naked Bike ride.
State Sen. Chris Kapenga, R-Delafield, is shepherding the proposal. He said Wisconsin needs a new state law after a 10-year-old-girl rode her bike naked during Madison’s Naked Bike Ride this summer.
“If you agree that people shouldn’t be allowed to expose their genitals in public and that minor children shouldn’t be paraded naked through streets and photographed then I encourage your support on these bills,” Kapenga said. “It’s kind of a joke but it’s not a joke. This is a pretty serious pretty serious issue.”
Dane County Commissioner Jeff Wiegand called both Madison police and the Dane County Sheriff’s Office after he was told the girl’s picture showed up on Facebook. Wiegand told lawmakers the authorities brushed him off.
“The sheriff refused to investigate, saying he ‘is not the primary law enforcement’ for the jurisdiction for where the bike ride occurred,” Wiegand said. “The Madison Police Department responded, initially, by saying its special victims unit consulted with the district attorney’s office about this incident. The DA’s office confirmed there are applicable statutes to support a criminal investigation.”
Kapenga has two plans. One would make it a crime to expose children to nudity. The other would spell out the law for explicit, intentional nudity.
State Sen. LaTonya Johnson, D-Milwaukee, said she’s worried about the unintended consequences of a law that would punish parents for taking children to any show where there’s nudity.
“It seems to me that for some concerts now, for example a Beyonce concert, buttocks are exposed. Would this prohibit parents from taking their kids to a concert or children under the age of 18 from attending concerts where but buttocks may be exposed?”
Kapenga said he is not worried about that at all.
“Having recently seen the revenues from some of these concerts, they are significant, into the 10s of millions of dollars,” Kapenga said. “A strip of cloth from JoAnne Fabric costs about 37 cents. If they have to buy 100 strips of cloth to cover their butt crack, I’m okay with that.”
Officials with Madison’s Naked Bike Ride say the proposals would infringe on their right to protest and are trying to shame the naked form.