Along with the right to bear arms, does the United States guarantee a right to bare … chests?
The U.S. Supreme Court doesn’t seem to think so, and has left in place the public nudity convictions of three women who took off their bathing suit tops on a New Hampshire beach as a way to advocate for the “right” of women to go topless.
The justices declined on Jan.13 to question a state court ruling that found no violation of the trio’s constitutional rights.
Heidi Lilley, Kia Sinclair and Ginger Pierro belong to the Free the Nipple campaign, which advocates for the rights of women to go topless, the Associated Press reported. They were arrested in 2016 after removing their tops at a beach and refusing to put them on when other beach visitors complained.
The women are considering their next move, said representative Dan Hynes.
“The government should not be allowed to create a crime that requires proof of someone’s sex as an element of the offense,” Hynes said in a statement. “It is unfortunate that 100 years after being granted the right to vote, the City of Laconia has decided to keep women second class citizens, with permission of the New Hampshire Supreme Court.”
In a 3-2 ruling last year, New Hampshire’s highest court upheld the conviction of the three women, finding their constitutional rights were not violated.
Supporters celebrated in February when the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling blocking a Fort Collins, Colorado, law against women going topless in public.
The justices sided with activists who argued that the ban treated women and men differently.