Representative David Moore’s (R-Missoula) proposed changes to Montana’s indecency laws, which could have banned wearing yoga pants in public, failed to pass through the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. House Bill 365 was defeated in Committee. The measure would not only have banned exposed nipples or genitals, but it also would have prohibited tight fitting clothing that simulated the appearance of a person’s buttocks, genitals, pelvis or nipple.
The ill-conceived measure was widely ridiculed on social media. On Wednesday, the bill was killed in Committee. Fellow Committee members giggled, before rejecting the proposal. No discussion was held on the measure and it was tabled on a voice vote.
Articles referring to the proposed yoga pants ban often read like political satire. Yet, the easily mocked proposal was all too real. Fortunately, however, common sense prevailed on Wednesday and the Judiciary Committee failed to move the bill forward.
For Montanans that fear tight workout pants will lead to social ruin, Wednesday’s measure may be cause for concern. However, Big Sky residents who wear yoga pants can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that they will not be arrested for heading to the gym in a pair of beige yoga pants. Law abiding yoga pants wearers can rest assured that the state’s attempt to impose new restrictions on their attire has been scuttled in Committee.
While the entire debate over wearing yoga pants gave fodder to bloggers and comedians, the GOP’s attempts to curtail freedom is no laughing matter. Women, in particular, still need to be concerned about the lawmakers in Helena, and other Republican-dominated legislatures across the country, as they seek to limit personal freedoms.
The Montana House Judiciary Committee recognized the absurdity of the yoga pants ban, but some of the same lawmakers may be less circumspect when it comes to rejecting equally ridiculous bills designed to scale back women’s reproductive choices on issues like contraception and abortion. For now, Montana men and women alike can rejoice that the legislature decided not to infringe upon the people’s right to don yoga pants in public. However, residents need to be prepared to speak out against the next goofy proposal that comes down the pike in Helena. Tea Partiers in the legislature are, almost certainly, in the process of crafting another equally absurd bill at this very moment. Montanans beware.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.