A federal court this week made it legal for women in six states to go topless.
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a Fort Collins, Colorado, topless ban, meaning women can now show more skin in Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas and Utah without legal repercussions.
It’s a huge victory for plaintiffs Brit Hoagland and Samantha Six, who sued the city over its law as part of the #FreeTheNipple movement, calling it an attack on gender inequality.
Ms. Hoagland told KGUN: “Everybody should be able to be comfortable on a hot day and if that means taking their shirt off so be it. No matter how you look, you should have the same freedom at the person next to you. And it’s also about equality.”
“Addressing small parts of inequality can make a big difference in how people are treated on a day-to-day basis, and I thought free the nipple was just one small step closer to how it should be,” she added.
Fort Collins has opted to not appeal the case to the Supreme Court, making this the end of the road for now.
“I think the council as they articulated in their 4-3 vote, really just thought as a matter of priority, no guarantee of success or that the Supreme Court would even take it up, that the money was just better spent on other city priorities,” Fort Collins Deputy Director of Information Tyler Marr said.
However, it’s not set in stone. The 10th Circuit ruling opposes a 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017, which upheld Chicago’s topless ban and made women going topless illegal in Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois.
Andrew McNulty, attorney for Ms. Hoagland and Ms. Six, said the ruling addresses equal rights, but not everyone agrees.
Peg Williams of Boulder, Colorado, told the network: “I guess as a woman, I mean, I do think we deserve equal rights in everything, so I guess that would count, too. But I think if women who choose to do that, they might be asking for a little bit of trouble.”
George Langel of Fort Collins said there is a contradiction between the two laws.
“Just seems like a contradictory of laws a woman can expose her breasts, but a man can’t go in an alley behind a dumpster and take a pee without coming up on criminal charges,” he said.