Huntington Beach attorney Allen Baylis is making the media rounds this week thanks to two issues he regularly fights in court: government use of red-light cameras and government bans on public nudity.
As Orange and Westminster this week consider joining Anaheim in banning red-light cameras, Baylis is a go-to source because he's successfully won acquittals for defendants who have been ticketed through the technology. A "naturist" (as displayed here), Baylis is also chiming in on reports that state park rangers are crossing a jurisdiction to inform nudists on a Camp Pendleton beach that they're trespassing on.
But Baylis' most unusual defense of the week involves the Raëlian cult.
As Simone Wilson reports for our big sistah paper LA Weekly, the group behind the fourth annual Go Topless Day scheduled Aug. 21 at the Venice Beach Boardwalk is the same cult that "believed some French dude in the 1970s when he said aliens, who control humans via remote computers, had instructed him to start a religion."
Among the things that have come out of the mouth of the almighty Raël, as Frenchie Claude Vorilho is known, is: "As long as men are allowed to be topless in public, women should have the same constitutional right. Or else, men should have to wear something to hide their chests."
His followers have gone on to participate in demonstrations advocating nudity and/or topless women around the world, prompting some to fear the cult just uses advocacy as a recruitment tool.
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Skeptical of the Raëlians or not, Baylis tells Wilson he's behind (bare or not) challenging the Los Angeles city ordinance that bans toplessness, maintaining it's "treading on thin ice, constitutionally."
For more on the latest locally with red-light cameras, check out my colleague Michelle Woo's recent post.
The Orange County Register has more on Baylis and the Camp Pendleton flap.