Australian state bans ‘mooning’ and ‘streaking’
The Australian state of Victoria has specifically outlawed “mooning” – exposing buttocks in public – and “streaking” – running naked in public – as part of an overhaul of the criminal code.
The offences were previously punishable as indecent or offensive exposure but have now been explicitly listed under updated legislation.
First-time offenders could face a two month jail sentence and repeat offenders could be imprisoned for up to six months.
The legislation also specifically outlaws singing “an obscene song or ballad”.
Justifying the changes, Martin Pakula, Victoria’s attorney-general, assured the public: “I don’t want to ruin anyone’s fun”.
“We don’t want a situation where someone who might streak at the cricket is funnelled into the same category as someone who might jump out in front of a 13-year-old girl and flash,” he told 3AW radio.
“They are very different types of offences and the legislation for the first time makes that clear… Sexual exposure is of course a much more serious offence.”
Mooning in Australia, as Melbourne’s Herald Sun website noted, is a “practice [that] has long been popular with schoolboys, protesters and alcohol-fuelled revellers”.
Streaking is particularly popular at sporting fixtures but offenders face heavy fines and can be banned from stadiums.
The amendments were among about 50 crimes included in an overhaul of sexual offence laws which was designed to distinguish acts of indecency from sex crimes.
“If you contemplate a situation where it’s not [an offence] you could have people simply doing it everyday with no possibility of any kind of sanction,” Mr Pakula said.
“So it’s always been an offence, it remains an offence but the legislation simply separates out the less serious offence from the more serious offence.”
The laws were passed by the Victorian parliament with bipartisan support.