New Challenges to Public Nudity Laws

FOR DOWNLOAD MORE GALLERY The topless doughnut shop in Vassalboro, Maine, is the center of a topfreedom equality issue when it was reported to police that one of the waitresses was outside the shop without a top on. No charges were filed in the incident, but the matter has been referred to the district attorney for possible review.

My guess is that there will be no charges for a couple of reasons. First, the woman reported to be topless is described as being "probably involved", so there could be some question of eyewitness accuracy. Second, there is some doubt as to whether the town's allowance of the topless establishment prohibits nudity outside the cafe.

The absence of charges in this case will likely result in further revision of a proposed nudity ordinance by the town's Board of Selectmen, which is scheduled to make a final vote at a town meeting on June 8.

The article on the incident notes that there were also males outside the cafe, but does not say if they were topless or not. The report also does not give a reason why the employees were outside. These are important facts to uncover, because if the men were outside on break just to get a little sun, perhaps the woman decided to join them in a display of topfree equality, merely enjoying the freedom given by society to all men.

By insisting that the "probably involved" woman be questioned while fully clothed, and not demanding the same of the male employees, trooper Shawn Porter likely engaged in sexual discrimination. We really need to get a grip on this female breast phobia and stop treating women like criminals when they exercise their topfree equality. This case in Maine could potentially be important in the fight for topfreedom.

In the town of Bracebridge, Canada, a group of naturists paraded nude in front of an Ontario Provincial Police department to protest public nudity laws. There is no word if the Federation of Canadian Naturists had a hand in the incident, but a recent blog post by Malcolm Scott, calling himself a "Proud Naturist", declared his right to be naked anywhere, anytime. Scott is apparently affiliated with FCN as the Coordinator of Public Awareness and Education, but there is nothing at this point to link him directly with the protest.

There were no arrests in Bracebridge, but due to several complaints the matter has been handed over to the district attorney, similar to the case in Maine. If anyone has further details on this incident. please forward them to me at nudiarist@gmail.com. I'd like know who's behind the protest, and if the naturists had a permit for their public assembly.

Perhaps it's time for naturists in the US and Canada to stand up for their rights to be nude. With public events such as Bare to Breakers and The World Naked Bike Ride gaining public acceptance, society seems to be ready for more clothing optional areas on public beaches and lands. Naturist and nudist organizations need to move from reactive into proactive mode if these challenges are to be met.
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