New Hampshire's House speaker warns his colleagues who spat over public nudity bill on Facebook
Jan 07, 2016 06:17 AM EST
The Speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, Shawn Jasper, warned his colleagues on Wednesday to be civil following a social media spat over a bill barring women from exposing their breasts in public.
Shawn Jasper told the 400-member body that lawmakers have a responsibility to act with dignity, to act with respect, because they represent not only themselves, but also constituents and the entire state of New Hampshire, The Guardian reported.
The Republican Representative's admonishment comes at the start of 2016 legislative session after two male lawmakers were criticized for Facebook comments aimed at Democratic Representative Amanda Bouldin, who opposes the bill and notes its sponsors were men.
The public nudity bill was filed by a Republican Representative Josh Moore at the New Hampshire State House in response to the rise of national Free the Nipple movement.
According to New York Daily News, the bill would make it illegal for men and women to expose their genitals, have sex in public or show off their anuses. The bill also prohibits women to expose their breasts in public.
A Democratic Representative, Amanda Bouldin, opposes the bill and expressed her disagreement on Facebook. On her posting, Bouldin called for the bill's sponsor to kill it or at least exempt new mothers who are breastfeeding.
The bill does exempt breasfeeding mothers, but Amanda Bouldin told CNN that she didn't know about the exemption at the time of the Facebook post. Bouldin said she still doesn't support the bill, even with the breastfeeding exemption. She said that the proposal is sexist for singling out women.
In response to Bouldin's post, the bill's sponsor State Representative Josh Moore wrote comment that women who want to expose their breasts should have no problem with a man's inclination to stare at it and grab it.
Another Republican Representative, Al Baldasaro, also commented the post: "No disrespect, but your nipple would be the last one I would want to see ... You want to turn our family beach's into a pervert show."
The bill was failed from being introduced, and it will be up for a public hearing and debate this year. House majority leader Dick Hinch called the bill "too controversial" and noted the pending court case.
On Wednesday legislative session, Shawn Jasper said the spat bring negative attention to the state and the legislature. Some Republican Representatives said Jasper's remarks were an attempt to shut down free speech.
As much as 313 representatives voted to include Jasper's remarks in the House's permanent journal, while 41 of them voted against the remarks.