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Thu May 6, 2021, 02:58 PM

Court hears challenge to topless ban at Maryland beach

Source: ABC News

A ban on bare-chested women at the beach in Ocean City, Maryland, violates the Constitution's guarantee of equal protection and should be overturned, advocates argued to a federal appeals court.

The Washington Post reports that the Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is reviewing a ruling last year that upheld Ocean City's ordinance barring women, but not men, from going topless at the beach to protect “public sensibilities.”

During oral arguments Wednesday, Chief Judge Roger Gregory expressed skepticism about Ocean City’s rationale for the measure. Gregory asked how many calls town officials received complaining about the possibility of women going topless, and noted that the ordinance was passed after an inquiry to police about what would happen if women “expressed their freedom in this manner on the beach.”

Gregory said public sensibilities and legal standards have changed over time, citing Supreme Court decisions overturning laws that criminalized interracial marriage and sexual activity between same-sex adults.

Read more: https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/court-hears-challenge-topless-ban-maryland-beach-77532370?cid=clicksource_4380645_1_heads_hero_live_headlines_hed

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Thu May 6, 2021, 03:22 PM

1. I have to say....

If Republicans can argue that requiring the wearing of masks during a pandemic is somehow a limitation of their freedom, what is their argument for criminalizing going topless (or bottomless) in public?

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Response to TheRealNorth (Reply #1)

Thu May 6, 2021, 11:24 PM

5. There's no argument from me

Every beach at least should be nude.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Thu May 6, 2021, 07:14 PM

2. Thanks for posting,

be sure to keep us abreast of the situation.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Thu May 6, 2021, 07:53 PM

3. By the way, they're real and they are spectacular!

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Thu May 6, 2021, 08:52 PM

4. In some other beach towns you'll find sections marked as clothing optional, or topless allowed,

or some variation of "Family Friendly". Ocean City has been arguing this one since the 70's.

To be fair they have a long standing reputation as a family oriented beach. Given the scale of summer traffic there I agree that they face an issue that would be difficult to manage on 10 miles of open beach lined with 3 miles of boardwalk as well as restaurants, stores, hotels, and condos. There are no dunes to isolate the beach from the town as you might find elsewhere. There never were any dunes on this stretch of coast, just a wide beach.
...during summer weekends the city hosts between 320,000 and 345,000 vacationers, and up to 8 million visitors annually.[4] During the summer, Ocean City becomes the second most populated municipality in Maryland, after Baltimore.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean_City%2C_Maryland

That works out to roughly 33,000+ people for every mile of beachfront. While not all of them tend to be on the beach at one time and some prefer the bay to the ocean, you can see how local density could begin to present a problem.


The summer crowd is drawn from a very broad cross-section of America, as well as diverse international visitors from D.C. I'm one to advocate for reason, respect, and diversity here. IMO there are ways to manage this without having to fight about every acre of beach. Last time I looked freedom of expression works both ways.

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Response to Ford_Prefect (Reply #4)

Thu May 6, 2021, 11:57 PM

6. There is no reason that woman cannot be topless in public if they choose.

It is a fundamental human rights issue. If some people object due to various cultural reasons, they can certainly keep their shirts on.

It is no different the abortion rights. If you are against abortion, don't have one.

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Response to cinematicdiversions (Reply #6)

Fri May 7, 2021, 03:09 PM

7. Agreed, but don't complain about being stared at by men then

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Response to cinematicdiversions (Reply #6)

Fri May 7, 2021, 03:56 PM

9. I am not arguing against that point. I am saying that other people may chose to differ on it.

I don't think a Burqa is a good idea but that's not my call to make.

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Response to groundloop (Original post)

Fri May 7, 2021, 03:25 PM

8. Do people still worry about skin cancer?

Seems like exposing pale skin to the sun isn't the greatest idea.

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