US women urge Supreme Court to repeal topless sunbathing ban as it permits discrimination

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Dec 15, 2021, 10:38 AM(IST)

US women urge Supreme Court to repeal topless sunbathing ban Photograph:( AFP )

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As per the petitioners, the court is so preoccupied with “protecting traditional moral sensibilities” that it permits “discrimination against all women.” 

A group of women from Maryland, US, have challenged a ban on topless sunbathing. The petitioners are asking the Supreme Court to review a law that allows men to show skin but bans women from doing the same.

As per the petitioners, the court is so preoccupied with “protecting traditional moral sensibilities” that it permits “discrimination against all women.” 

In 2017, Ocean City had passed a law banning women from exposing their skin at the beach after one of their plaintiffs, Chelsea Eline, complained to local authorities that she had a right to go topless. 

According to a report by The Associated Press, Judge A. Marvin Quattlebaum, also one of the panel members said that Ocean City is within their rights to impose such a ban to protect “public sensibilities."

The court had also denied a request to rehear the case.

Chief judge Roger Gregory said that the court should reconsider its decision. Gregory wrote, "At first glance, Ocean City’s ordinance seems innocuous enough … But we must take care not to let our analysis be confined by the limits of our social lens. Suppose the ordinance defined nudity to include public exposure of a woman’s hair, neck, shoulders, or ankles. Would that law not run afoul of the Equal Protection Clause?"

The petition was filed on December 1 and the court can respond till January 7. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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