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Nudity will be legal again in Brattleboro

BRATTLEBORO -- It's back to clothing optional in Vermont's nudity capital.

A month after passing a temporary ban, the Brattleboro Selectboard rejected a proposed ordinance that would have made it permanent Tuesday. When the emergency ordinance expires next month, public nudity will be legal again.

To one Selectboard member, tolerance trumped all.

"We in this country are going down a slippery slope these days," said Dora Bouboulis, saying a national newspaper recently published an article about the emergency ordinance under the headline, "Tolerant town gets intolerant."

She said it wasn't up to the town to restrict the right of people to be nude in public.

Before the vote, residents weighed in on both sides of the debate, with one opponent handing the Selectboard a petition with 967 signatures of people in Brattleboro and Windham County who support a nudity ban.

"What is the point, other than shock and awe, that the nudists are trying to make?" said Michael Gauthier, who presented the petition.

The permanent ordinance, which was rejected in a 3-2 vote, would have prohibited public nudity downtown and along Routes 5 and 9.