You may think the biggest threat to nudists would be some sunburn or pesky insect bites in the height of summer. But naturists say they are increasingly facing abuse - and now want to be protected under hate crime laws. British Naturism, which represents about 9, nudists, wants the right to get naked in public to be recognised as a 'philosophical belief' in the eyes of the law. Its president, Mark Bass, told the Mail on Sunday they were lobbying for the change 'so we are not abused in our day-to-day lives. These days we all agree that shouting abuse at somebody because of the colour of their skin, their sexual preference or their religion is not acceptable. We are not asking that people should be forced to be naked. And writing on British Naturis's website, he added: 'Despite attempting to avoid confrontation, it is not uncommon for a naturist to receive abuse from a neighbour or when out walking. Last March, hundreds of people protested against a nude children-and-adult swimming session in Stoke-on-Trent, claiming it would attract paedophiles. And Dr Bass said one naturist recently had a dog set on him, adding: 'We are now moving from hate speech into actual physical attacks. Crown Prosecution Service guidance calls for a balance between the rights of naturists to be naked in public and the public to be safe from 'harassment, alarm and distress'.
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Naturism , or nudism , is a cultural movement practising, advocating, and defending personal and social nudity , most but not all of which takes place on private property. The term also refers to a lifestyle based on personal, family, or social nudity. Ethical or philosophical nudism has a long history, with many advocates of the benefits of enjoying nature without clothing. At the turn of the 20th century, organizations emerged to promote social nudity and to establish private campgrounds and resorts for that purpose. Since the s, with the acceptance of public places for clothing-optional recreation, individuals who do not identify themselves as nudists have been able to casually participate in nude activities. Nude recreation opportunities vary widely around the world, from isolated places known mainly to locals to officially-designated nude beaches and parks. Many contemporary naturists and naturist organisations feel that the practice of social nudity should be asexual. For various social, cultural, and historical reasons, the lay public, the media, and many contemporary naturists and their organisations have or present a simplified view of the relationship between naturism and sexuality. Current research has begun to explore this complex relationship. The usage and definition of these terms varies geographically and historically.
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The president of the UK's largest naturist group is calling for the abuse of nudists to be classed as a hate crime. British Naturism chief Dr Mark Bass said some of his members have received abuse from the public while "going about their own business" and wants them to be protected further under UK law. Dr Bass told Sky News that nudists are currently protected from being fired from companies under the Equality Act This is due to nudism being classed as a "philosophical belief", he said. Dr Bass says he is aware of around one case a month of a member being abused for their beliefs. The organisation has nearly 9, members.
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