The United States Law Week

Ocean City Defeats Challenge to Female-Only Toplessness Ban

April 8, 2020, 8:57 PM

An Ocean City, Md., ordinance barring women, but not men, from displaying their breasts in public doesn’t violate the constitutional guarantee of equal protection because it’s a legitimate way to protect the public’s sensibilities, a federal court in Maryland ruled.

The ban serves an important government interest of shielding the public from unwanted exposure to body areas traditionally considered erogenous zones, the court said.

The popular seaside resort town passed an ordinance in 2017 banning the public display of “specified anatomical areas” including “a female breast below a point immediately above the top of the areola.” It didn’t ban the...

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