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Judge Permits Women in Fort Collins To Go Topless in Public

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As of Wednesday, women in Fort Collins are now legally allowed to go topless in public. This comes after plaintiffs Brittiany Hoagland and Samantha Six, and the local Free the Nipple group, launched a lawsuit against Fort Collins in 2016, citing that the city’s policy was discriminatory, sexist and unconstitutional. The ban, which up until this week, only allowed breastfeeding mothers and girls under 10-years-old to expose their chests in public, was blocked by a federal judge in Denver, who also agreed that the ordinance was outdated and unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge R. Brooke Jackson granted a preliminary injunction on the ban, saying that it’s likely to succeed at a permanent injunction once the case goes to trial. Part of the reasoning for making this decision, was that the city of Fort Collins could not provide enough “meaningful evidence” to back up their claim that the sight of a female breast endangers children. The judge also criticized an idea brought up in the testimony, that topless women walking around the city could cause distractions while driving.

The current injunction now prevents police and the city of of Fort Collins from citing women for exposing their breasts in public, and a statement from city attorney, Carrie Daggett explains they are reviewing the decision and will decide how to deal with it from here. Basically, the only two choices the city would have, would be to fight back and completely ban both men and women from going bare-chested in public or just let it go. Hoagland and Six are extremely proud of their historic “win” for equal rights, which all stemmed from the question, “If men can go topless, why can’t women?”  Fort Collins joins several other Colorado cities, including Denver, who permit women to be topless in public.

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