A Republican legislator from Montana has proposed a law that seems like something out of another decade — or perhaps even another century.
State Rep. David Moore has proposed a new bill that would ban “any device, costume, or covering that gives the appearance of, or simulates, the genitals, pubic hair, anus region, or pubic hair region.”
“Yoga pants should be illegal in public anyway,” he added following a debate over the bill. Although the law would not make yoga pants or speedos illegal, it does call for the elimination of all nipple exposure, male or female.
Moore’s bill is reportedly part of an effort to strengthen the state’s indecent exposure laws, though it would reduce penalties for indecent exposure from potentially life in prison to a maximum of five years and a $5,000 fine.
Still, critics of the legislation and women in particular, have taken offense to what they consider Moore’s preoccupations with appropriate outer-garments. The Montana legislature also raised eyebrows last year when they endorsed a new dress code policy that went out of its way to crack down on ”skirt lengths and necklines.”
“My big problem is that women are set aside for an admonishment in the document, basically telling us to mind our skirt lines and mind our necklines, and that feels very 19th century to me,” Democratic Montana House Minority Whip Jenny Eck told the Helena-based news station KXLH at the time.
“Women can be trusted to get up in the morning and dress appropriately,” she added. “Would the sergeant of arms be the clothes police checking our skirt lengths and cleavage?”
Meanwhile, this is not Moore’s first foray into matters of the flesh. Last year, he proposed a bill to curb nude cyclists.
Nonetheless, his remarks are not the most extreme Republican condemnation of yoga-related activities to date. In 2013, a passage from a 2008 book by Republican Virginia lieutenant governor candidate E.W. Jackson was unearthed, showing that he believed their was a link between yoga and Satanism.
“When one hears the word meditation, it conjures an image of Maharishi Yoga talking about finding a mantra and striving for nirvana .… The purpose of such meditation is to empty oneself .… [Satan] is happy to invade the empty vacuum of your soul and possess it. That is why people serve Satan without ever knowing it or deciding to, but no one can be a child of God without making a decision to surrender to him. Beware of systems of spirituality which tell you to empty yourself. You will end up filled with something you probably do not want,” wrote Jackson in “Ten Commandments to an Extraordinary Life.”
Jackson was soundly defeated in his 2013 campaign for lieutenant governor of Virginia.