Federal Judge Rules that Colorado City Can’t Ban Women’s Breasts in Public

Emma Gannon | Courthouse News Service

DENVER (CN) — Fort Collins, Colorado, cannot ban women from exposing their breasts in public, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

Free the Nipple sued the city of 161,000 in May 2016, challenging its ordinance No. 134, which banned girls and women older than nine from exposing their breasts in public unless they were breastfeeding.

Article continues below.


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U.S. District Judge R. Brooke Jackson on Wednesday a preliminary injunction preventing Fort Collins from enforcing the ordinance. Jackson found the ordinance “likely” violates the Equal Protection Clause.

“The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment bars state governmental entities from discriminating between the sexes unless they have an ‘exceedingly persuasive justification’ for doing so,” the order states.

“In this case, Fort Collins has on the books an ordinance that on its face discriminates against women.”

Fort Collins passed Ordinance No. 134 in November 2015. Free the Nipple — a movement that started from a 2012 film of the same name — then staged protests throughout the city, gathering topless in public spots, save for tape over their breasts and nipples.

It claimed in its lawsuit that the ordinance was “discriminatory against girls, women, and LGBTQIA persons by making it a crime to show their breasts and/or nipples in any place where they might be viewed by others while allowing boys and men to show their breasts and/or nipples at any time or place without fear of arrest or prosecution.”

Jackson found that Fort Collins’ justifications for the ordinance “little more than speculation.”


“During the hearing defendant called Assistant Police Chief Jerome Schager, who testified that topless females in public likely might cause distracted driving and traffic issues that disrupt public order,” the order states.

“There are many things that could potentially distract drivers and disrupt traffic, but the constitutional issue is whether there is such a threat to public order that it rises to the level of an important government interest. Frankly, without any significant evidence on this point, I’m skeptical that it does.

“Rather, it appears that underlying Fort Collins’s belief that topless females are uniquely disruptive of public order is the same negative stereotype about female breasts that I discuss in more depth later — namely, that society considers female breasts primarily as objects of sexual desire whereas male breasts are not.


“Nor has Fort Collins provided any meaningful evidence that the mere sight of a female breast endangers children. The female breast, after all, is one of the first things a child sees,” Jackson wrote.

The only other Colorado city to sanction a woman’s right to go topless in public is Boulder, between Fort Collins and Denver.

Published by Courthouse News Service.

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  • http://www.justiceisclear.com/ Robert Elrod

    They can call it whatever they like, not going to change the average man from staring at the tata’s in delight! Say there’s no difference all day long it isn’t going to change the facts. As a brest man, I’m happy to see the nips free, usually have to pay for such in the strip clubs!
    😈 😈 😅 😄 😃 😂 😁 😄 😀 😅 😂 😅 😅 😅 😁 😈 😈 😈 😈

    • Catherine le Fay

      they are called breasts rock ape,, AND they are for feeding babies, not for you to show how deprived you really are!

      • http://www.justiceisclear.com/ Robert Elrod

        Too bad, nothing you can say is going to make me like TATA’S any less. Do what you will, I say free the nip, while you’re at just walk around butt naked. I have no shame in being a man that likes tits. Sorry, you want to whip then out, I’m all for it. I have no reservations about scoping out your tits! Why would I, I didn’t forealize them upon you, make you expose them, nor tell you you shouldn’t. I’m just pointing out the obvious, most men like tits, you show them, well look at them. No amount of normalization is going to make me view your fun bags with any less of a desire to put them in my mouth. 😂😂😃😃😄😅😆😅😄😃😂😁😃😄😅😄😃😄😈😈😈😈😎😎😎😎

      • George Brandon

        Is that why liberals just love using tits to sell shit? Specifically their entire porn industry in Cali? You women wanted those rights, you got them. Now you don’t want them because they are only for feeding babies? Let me tell those women who absolutely LOVED me sucking on their shit that. Not to mention the ones that LOVE shoving them into men’s faces in strip clubs and on screen. You see, you can’t have an entire party of liberals fighting for the porn industry and then turn around and say the tits are only to be used for feeding. Don’t work that way honey.

        • Craig Reynolds

          In our marvelous free enterprise system, businesses succeed or fail based on sales. So who do you suppose is doing all the buying in the industries you call out? Why don’t you go interview the spectators at those strip clubs and movies to find out? And while you’re at it, ask the performers what they love about their work.

        • Topfree Theresa

          What are you even talking about? I don’t support the porn industry in anyway, but I definitely support gender equality… you know, equal rights for everyone no matter your race or sex. Or did you prefer the days when we had segregated water fountains?

    • Marion Wilson

      In many cultures bare breast is normal particularly in hot muggy climates. Sounds sensible to me. There are many taboos that arise from the belief that it is normal for men not being expected to restrain sexual aggression, that women are responsible for men’s antisocial behaviour.

      • George Brandon

        Therin lies the issue. Culture differences. In the Arab world, women wear hijabs because necks etc etc are viewed as a sexual item. Same reason why they have to cover their ankles.

        • Craig Reynolds

          Right. And the culture differences that brought about the muumuu?

  • canucanoe2

    Most men would enjoy it if women went topless… for about a week. Then it would be just become normal. My bro-in law was going to a nude beach one summer. He said after his fifth or sixth time that he began ogling girls in bikinis as they walked by instead of ogling the naked girls that were right there. It will become a non-issue.

    • Catherine le Fay

      agree

  • Boxhawk

    Wait until the sexual harassment cases start piling up. Double standard.

  • Nancy DeVisser

    Personally I think women who do this are exibisionist, looking for attenion

  • Catherine le Fay

    men are allowed to wear no shirt, and while I think it is more dignified to wear cloths in more public places I do not agree with double standards and firmly believe our pressure on women to wear bras has been both damaging for our health and welbeing. In many cultures this is not an issue, in the western world we have sexualised too much and made a rod for our own back as a result. This is long overdue and soon it will be no issue at all.

    • http://www.justiceisclear.com/ Robert Elrod

      Too bad, nothing you can say is going to make me like TATA’S any less. Do what you will, I say free the nip, while you’re at just walk around butt naked. I have no shame in being a man that likes tits. Sorry, you want to whip then out, I’m all for it. I have no reservations about scoping out your tits! Why would I, I didn’t forealize them upon you, make you expose them, nor tell you you shouldn’t. I’m just pointing out the obvious, most men like tits, you show them, well look at them. No amount of normalization is going to make me view your fun bags with any less of a desire to put them in my mouth. 😂😂😃😃😄😅😆😅😄😃😂😁😃😄😅😄😃😄😈😈😈😈😎😎😎😎 https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/db0da90aa31a24e16e1f8d2595e4f9a2228b98e2520a47a57cf05319629a710b.jpg

    • Craig Reynolds

      “to wear bras has been both damaging for our health and welbeing.” My mother and my wife and my friend Wendy would strenuously disagree, along with innumerable woman who journeyed West on unsprung wagons.

      • Topfree Theresa

        Until you grow breasts and know what it’s like to wear a bra for 20 years and then feel the amazing freeing difference with not wearing one for the past two years, you have no valid opinion on the matter.

  • Brady Poulson

    One giant step for man to Giant steps backwards for women. Show me the boobies!