An Ohio pro-family anti-abortion activist wants to ban all public nudity, including public breastfeeding, not just because he has a problem with female nudity, but because he’s convinced that it leads to “gay pride.”
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Patrick Johnson, who’s the director of Personhood Ohio, called for a ban on all public nudity after topless dancers from a gentleman’s club protested at his church in support of strip clubs. Johnson’s church has campaigned against strip clubs and harassed customers for years.
"We've been backed into a corner, and they continue to harass the customers," Thomas George, who owns two Ohio strip clubs, told USA Today. "I don't want to (use nudity), but obviously he doesn't understand the meaning of just go away."
But Johnson sees himself as the victim here.
“I am sick that women can legally bare their breasts to children and to married men against their will in Ohio,” Johnson wrote on his Facebook page after the protest.
He then told ABC, “I think when we allow women to flaunt their sexuality to the public, flaunt their nudity to the public, it’s harmful to marriage.”
Johnson is "pro-life." Here's a photo of him from his Facebook page:
Johnson urged Ohioans to contact their legislators in support of the ban, as it is currently legal for women to be topless in public in Ohio. “I think what [the protesters] did was an offense to God, was an offense to the public morality, and the legislature should act to criminalize what they did.”
Johnson doesn’t just think that topless women are immoral – but that their appearance contributes to the popularity of Ohio’s gay pride parade.
“The gay pride parade in Columbus is 500,000 strong – why? Because the women go topless. This is the only one where I’ve seen this level of nudity,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “San Francisco, Chicago, Washington, D.C. I have never seen the kind of public lewdness I have seen in Columbus, Ohio.”
Because people clearly only go to gay pride parades to see topless women.
The Aiken Area Progressive blog notes that banning public nudity would also ban public breastfeeding.
“This is a no-exceptions ban that if enacted, will drop the number of states to 49 in which breastfeeding is legal, and, if enacted, this definitely will violate numerous Constitutional amendments.”
Johnson isn’t the only public figure who’s advocated against public breastfeeding. Last year, Republican state Rep. Debbie Riddle spoke out against a bill that would protect the right to breastfeed in public, arguing that businesses should be able to object to women who aren’t being “modest.”
“A bill that would allow for lawsuits if one ‘interfered’ with a woman breast feeding is really going a bit far,” she wrote on her Facebook page. “If a business owner objects to a woman who is not being modest than be fearful of a lawsuit is government out of control.
Hat tip: Pink News
Image: International Women's Day Demostration in Valencia, 2008. Women performing a "collective breastfeeding act in order to vindicate their right to conciliate family and work." Photo by Amadeu Sanz via Flickr