Maryland Town Being Sued Over Its Rule Banning Topless Women - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Ocean City Being Sued Over its Rule Banning Topless Women

Posted: Jan 17, 2018 9:18 PM Updated:

OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP/WBOC)- Ocean City's ordinance prohibiting topless women in public is being challenged by a lawsuit.

The 29-page suit filed Tuesday by five women in federal court includes Ocean City and several officials as defendants. Officials had unanimously passed the ordinance during an emergency session in June after the beach patrol said lifeguards would no longer approach and scold women who are topless.

The emergency ordinance stated that "there is no constitutional right for an individual to appear in public nude or in a state of nudity. Whatever personal right one has to be nude or in a state of nudity that right becomes subject to government interest and regulation when one seeks to exercise in public."

Chelsea Eline, one of the plaintiffs, had used the pseudonym Covington to contact the beach patrol in 2016. She believed it was her right to appear topless in public like men.

Eline's lawyer, Devon Jacob, said Wednesday the ordinance violates an equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution.

 

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