Current Status Bill Number:
581Type of Legislation: General Bill GBIntroducing Body: SenateIntroduced Date: 19970326Primary Sponsor: J. Verne SmithAll Sponsors: J. Verne SmithDrafted Document Number: pt\1036dw.97Companion Bill Number: 4034Residing Body: SenateCurrent Committee: Judiciary Committee 11 SJSubject: Obscenity, material harmful to minors, child exploitation, prostitution; nudity not included with; Crimes and Offenses
Body Date Action Description Com Leg Involved ______ ________ _______________________________________ _______ ____________ Senate 19970326 Introduced, read first time, 11 SJ referred to CommitteeView additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
TO AMEND ARTICLE 3, CHAPTER 15, TITLE 16, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 16-15-450 SO AS TO CLARIFY THAT THE PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE 3, CHAPTER 15, TITLE 16 ARE INTENDED TO REGULATE OBSCENITY, MATERIAL HARMFUL TO MINORS, CHILD EXPLOITATION, AND CHILD PROSTITUTION; TO PROVIDE THAT ARTICLE 3 IS NOT INTENDED TO BE GENERAL LAW REGULATING NUDITY OR TO PRECLUDE REGULATION BY COUNTIES OR MUNICIPALITIES OF OTHER ASPECTS OF NUDITY IN PUBLIC PLACES, INCLUDING COMMERCIAL ESTABLISHMENTS.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. The General Assembly finds that:
(1) The citizens of South Carolina desire a healthy environment in which to live, raise their families, engage in commercial activities, and benefit from public order.
(2) The regulation of nudity in public places is one of several factors relevant to the health and welfare of the public and the maintenance of public order.
(3) The needs of this regulation may vary from locality to locality throughout the State; therefore, the needs are best regulated by local law.
(4) The State's general statute, Article 3, Chapter 15, Title 16 of the 1976 Code, addresses the concerns of "Obscenity, Material Harmful to Children, Child Exploitation, and Child Prostitution", but has been interpreted by the South Carolina Supreme Court in Diamonds v. Greenville County, S.C. Op. No. 24567 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed Jan. 27, 1997) and Connor v. Town of Hilton Head, 314 SC 251, 442, SE2d 608 (1994) as an attempt by the General Assembly to regulate all nudity, whether or not it involves obscene conduct.
(5) This judicial interpretation of the legislative intent of the General Assembly has resulted in the pre-emption of efforts by local governments to regulate nudity in public places.
(6) This result is unintended, in that the General Assembly's purpose in enacting Article 3, Chapter 15, Title 16 was to regulate obscene conduct and conduct specifically affecting minors in a harmful way.
(7) It was not the General Assembly's purpose to regulate nudity in public places when that nudity does not rise to the level of obscenity.
(8) Likewise, it was not the intent of the General Assembly to preclude the legislative efforts of local governing bodies to regulate nudity in public places when the nudity is not obscene or lascivious.
(9) The addition, by this act, of Section 16-15-450 to Article 3, Chapter 15, Title 16 clarifies the General Assembly's intent and the power of local governing bodies to regulate nudity in public places.
SECTION 2. Article 3, Chapter 15, Title 16 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 16-15-450. The provisions of general law contained in this article are intended to regulate obscenity, material harmful to minors, child exploitation, and child prostitution. The provisions of this article are not intended to be general law regulating nudity or to preclude regulation by counties and municipalities of other aspects commonly associated with nudity in public places, including commercial establishments."
SECTION 3. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.