“Free The Nipple” Women’s Rights Group Succeeds; Girls Aged 11 Years And Older Can Now Go Topless In Public Places

The ordinance – which pertained to women and girls aged 11 years and older – will now be stricken from Fort Collins public nudity statutes, as of this week.
The ordinance – which pertained to women and girls aged 11 years and older – will now be stricken from Fort Collins’ public nudity statutes, as of this week with the city citing the fact that fighting the legal challenges to it was becoming prohibitively expensive for the city. File photo: Grindstone Media, Shutter Stock, licensed.

FORT COLLINS, CO – A Colorado city has officially dropped an ordinance that prohibited topless women in public places, citing the fact that fighting the legal challenges to it was becoming prohibitively expensive for the city.

Members of the “Free the Nipple” women’s rights movement, which advocates for equal treatment between the sexes, celebrated the announcement.

Most recently, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a federal judge’s previous ruling that banning women from appearing topless in public amounted to discrimination in the eyes of the U.S. constitution, since it was imposing different codes of conduct upon men and women.

Fort Collins officials, in their court filings, had expressed worry that, without the ban in-place, bare-breasted women would be “parading in front of elementary schools or swimming topless in the public pool.” However, the court noted that neighboring Colorado communities of Boulder and Denver do not have any bans on female toplessness, and have not reported any issues with indecency.

Officials in Fort Collins made the decision in February that they will not appeal the ruling of the Court of Appeals, stating that the city has already spent over $300,000 in attempting to uphold the law in the face of consistent legal challenges. The ordinance – which pertained to women and girls aged 11 years and older – will now be stricken from Fort Collins’ public nudity statutes, as of this week.

The city’s only other options was to appeal the Court of Appeals ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, but with the uncertainty regarding the ultimate outcome of the case and the expenditure thus far, Fort Collins spokesman Tyler Marr said that the city’s tax dollars were “just better spent on other city priorities.”

Since the ruling of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals is not being challenged by Fort Collins, it has established a precedent that means that the states that fall under that court’s jurisdiction – Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma – are now compelled to allow women to appear topless in public.


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