- The Washington Times - Friday, February 6, 2004

RICHMOND — The House of Delegates yesterday passed a bill that would make it illegal for teens to attend a nudist camp without their parents or legal guardians.

In a 98-1 vote that was punctuated by laughter, the House approved the bill and sent it forward to the Senate General Laws Committee for consideration. Delegate Charles W. Carrico Sr., Galax City Republican, was the opposing vote.

The bill, sponsored by Delegate John S. Reid, Henrico County Republican, states that the Board of Health shall not issue a license to any organization that runs a nudist camp for juveniles when parents, grandparents or legal guardians are not present.

The bill targets Camp White Tail in Ivor, in southeastern Virginia. Camp White Tail is an adult nudist camp that hosts a nudist camp for one week each summer for about 30 teens and preteens.

Bob Roche, the camp’s manager, said he will fight the bill.

“We will challenge it in court if we have to,” Mr. Roche told The Washington Times. “It’s rather sad they are wasting the valuable taxpayer’s money and time with this law.”

Also fighting the bill are the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Association for Nude Recreation.

Mr. Reid said he drafted the bill when his constituents complained about Camp White Tail’s special nudist camp in June forchildren ages 11 to 17.

Florida is the only other state that has nudist camps for juveniles.

• • •

The House yesterday passed a bill that would make it illegal to kill an unborn child against the mother’s wishes.

The House approved the bill in a 74-25 vote and sent it to the Senate.

The “feticide” bill, authored by Delegate John A. Cosgrove, Chesapeake Republican, states that fetal homicide is murder when the person who killed the child did so with malice. It also says that abortion is not considered murder under the bill.

A person who maliciously kills an unborn child during a deliberate assault on the mother faces up to life in prison under the bill’s provisions.

Democrats say the bill is too vague and worry it could indirectly make abortion illegal.

• • •

The House yesterday gave preliminary approval to legislation that would allow the General Assembly to set its own open-government rules, a move one Democrat warned “sends a bad message to the public.”

The bill, which passed the Republican-dominated chamber 55-39, would allow the senior lawmakers on the Joint Rules Committee to decide which meetings of legislators should be open to the press and the public.

Currently, regular committee and subcommittee meetings are open, but Republicans have resisted opening their daily caucus meetings to reporters, despite a recent opinion by the attorney general that this could go against Virginia’s 36-year-old Freedom of Information Act.

This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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