It's Nude Bathers Vs. Uniformed Officers On San Diego Beaches

San Diego's San Onofre State Beach has long been a mecca for nudists looking for a genital-scorching day by the sea. But state park rangers have been cracking down on them lately, and the Camp Pendleton Marines Corps that leases the land to the state — and uses the neighboring Gold's Beach to train recruits in amphibious assault — has found itself dragged into the dispute, the LA Times reports.

Because park rangers have been ticketing nudists with greater frequency, the recreationalists have been venturing southward towards Trail 6 — another nudist-friendly coastal stretch, "self-policed by hundreds of people who prefer their recreation, including use of a volleyball court, in the buff." Trail 6 is just a hop, skip and a jump from the Marines training grounds.

This nudist migration led to a bizarro tussle between the three factions:

An apparent confrontation a week ago, details of which are in dispute, between a nudist, rangers and military police has brought the issue to a head. [Nudist] John Squicciarini of San Clemente says a friend of his, Andy Pollock, had his camera grabbed by a Marine who was apparently working in tandem with park rangers. The Marine Corps says it has no record of such an occurrence.

Allen Baylis, a lawyer representing the nudists' interests, likens their cause to that of "blacks, women, [and] gays," the Times reports: "When the government does something we don't like, we have a duty to push back," he said, "and we have."

To which I say: Keep pushing! We should all strive to live in a nation where we are judged not by the color of our Speedos, but by the content of our character. (And definitely not by the content of our Speedos, because the ocean can get kind of cold. Guys, you know what I'm talking about.) [LAT, image via Christopher Gurr's Flickr]