ACLU Says Oregon Woman Has Right to Bike Naked; Local Law Begs to Differ

(Ashland Daily Tidings)
(Ashland Daily Tidings)
ASHLAND, Ore. (CBS/AP) They call Jen Moss "Ashland's Naked Lady."

A hit with the city's men, Moss is known for biking around Ashland, Ore., in just a g-string, nothing up top and no word on a helmet.

Photo: Jenn Moss, Ashland's Naked Lady.

But soon Moss will be covered up and her joyrides outlawed. This week, the town's city council adopted a ban on public nudity and the mayor signed the ordinance. The order takes effect in February and applies to anyone over the age of 8.

The nudity issue arose in 2008, when Moss started bicycling around Ashland wearing little more than a smile. More complaints came last summer, when a retired computer programmer visiting the city took nude strolls near an elementary school. Then a vacationer from Minnesota exposed himself in October.

Photo: Jenn Moss, Ashland's Naked Lady.

Ashland had already banned the exposing of genitalia in parks and downtown. Tuesday night's decision to expand the ban brought a threat of legal action from the American Civil Liberties Union, which says it violates the Oregon Constitution's protection of free expression.

In a 1985 decision, the Oregon Court of Appeals upheld Portland's ban on public nudity. But the court also ruled that public nudity can be a protected form of expression, such as during a protest.

And that's exactly what Moss says she is doing.

"I just wanted to stand up for evolution," she said. "In Europe it's no big deal to see naked people. It will be nice when Americans have evolved and they won't even notice that I'm naked anymore."

And if you think being nude for Moss is about sex, you're wrong, she says.

"I do not watch pornography and I support committed, monogamous relationships based on mutual respect. I do believe people have the right to do pornography, but it drains the human soul. Sex is sacred and is about making love, not war," Moss said the Ashland Daily Tidings.

Moss, whose parents "are just your normal, everyday people," moved to Ashland from Ojai, Calif., because of its lax public nudity law.

A former waitress, Moss quit that job over "concern about pesticides, herbicides, chemical use and cruelty to animals," according the Daily Tidings.

She has now been working as "kind of a life coach for people," and is looking for a new job, Moss told the paper.

Anybody hiring?

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Should Moss have the right to peddle naked or is she disturbing the peace?