Dem Lawmaker Calls For Legalizing Being Topless In Public

After a woman was issued a 90-day jail term for baring her breasts at a gas station, Democrats in Minnesota voiced their displeasure with a statute that forbids women from doing so in public.

27-year-old Eloisa Plancarte claimed that her conviction infringed upon her right to equal treatment under the law because men can bare their breasts. A legislator from Minnesota is putting up a bill to legalize women to go topless in public. The bill is in response to society’s “antiquated laws.”

A ruling from almost forty years ago affirmed the conviction of a woman caught sunbathing without a top in Minneapolis Park, and the Minnesota Court of Appeals decided 2-1 to uphold  Plancarte’s conviction. In her dissenting opinion, female judge Diane B. Bratvold voiced her worries about the legality of exposing a transgender in public without breast reduction surgery and said that the ruling raises several problems about criminal behavior.

Legislator Brion Curran (D-NY) and Senator Cervera Mura (D-CA) are worried that police have too much leeway to decide how to treat a criminal based on their gender identification. When Heidi Lilley, Kia Sinclair, and Ginger Pierro removed their bikinis at a Laconia beach in 2016 and refused to don them despite other beachgoers’ concerns, they were subject to legal sanctions.

A year in prison was on the table for the innocuous act of going topless while walking her dog along a beach in Balneário Camboriú last year for Caroline Werner, a 37-year-old Brazilian model.

In rejecting the woman’s claim of inadequate evidence, Judge Kevin G. Ross upheld Plancarte’s conviction, citing precedent spanning almost four decades. The court disagreed with Plancarte’s equal protection claim, holding that an unclothed woman is in no way comparable to a male in the same situation. Sencer-Mura did warn, however, that gender uncertainty will remain and that existing laws do not resolve the issue adequately.