Asbury Park Says No to Topless, Protest Planned

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Officials in Asbury Park, the New Jersey city made famous by Bruce Springsteen, have shot down a proposal to allow topless sunbathing on its beaches.

But at least one group is calling for a topless protest.

The Asbury Park City Council had been asked to consider the idea of setting aside a stretch of city beach for those who want to go sans bikini tops. The request came from women including the operator of a local yoga studio.

But the proposal was declined after a report by City Attorney Fred Raffetto, who said that two city ordinances prohibit public nudity, including going topless.

"There is no intention to change those ordinances," Mayor Ed Johnson said.

No other New Jersey beach permits topless bathing.

Nadine Gary, president of Gotopless.org, which advocates topless sunbathing, called the city's ruling "unconstitutional and discriminatory."

"Women's breasts were part of their splendid design and shouldn't have to be hidden," Gary said. "Mayor Johnson's ruling is discriminatory and must be overturned, along with a city ordinance passed in January in Ashland, Ore., concerning this same issue."

Gary said Gotopless.org will stage topless demonstrations across the nation on Sun., Aug 22, including in Asbury Park, "to denounce this gross nationwide discrimination."

She added that all men who participate in the demonstrations will be asked "to stand up for topless equal rights by wearing something that hides their chests."

Photo, sister72, flickr
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