College town retains ban on topless women

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) — The northern Colorado college town of Fort Collins has retained a ban on women going topless, rejecting efforts to join a movement to remove such indecency laws.

The city council voted unanimously Tuesday evening to reject changes to a law that prohibits the display of female breasts.

The hometown of Colorado State University did amend its indecency code to allow public breastfeeding. But otherwise it remains a $250 fine for a woman over the age of 10 to display her breast “below the top of the nipple.”

“It just doesn’t seem right” to allow female toplessness, said Councilman Ray Martinez.

Other cities, including Denver, New York and the nearby college town of Boulder, have removed all gender-specific language from indecency codes. The city of Chicago is facing a federal lawsuit from a woman challenging as discriminatory her $150 fine for participating in a 2014 “Go Topless Day” protest near Lake Michigan.

Supporters of the Fort Collins change said the indecency change wouldn’t lead to an explosion of women going topless in public. They called the proposal a simple attempt to remove gender bias from a law that isn’t enforced anyway.

But opponents packed the recent hearing to warn of increased sexual assaults, even car accidents, if women were allowed to display their breasts.