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CBS reports on GoTopless Day '09

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Women March Nearly Topless On Miami Beach - They Say It's Their Constitutional Right

Is it fair for men to be allowed to walk around topless when women aren't?

One group says it's not. They made their statement very clear Sunday afternoon in Miami Beach as many women walked around nearly topless to make their point.

Many women marchers wore pasties to cover their nipples. They were led by the Raelians – the group that believes that scientists from outer space are responsible for human creation on earth. The "Go Topless" march has been held in other cities including Chicago, Portland and New York.

The rally began at 3 p.m. on the corner of Lincoln Road and Washington Avenue. The march headed west to Alton road and ended at Meridian Avenue where many gathered to listen to a speech at 4 p.m.

The group posted the following statement on their website: "Our wish is not only for our breasts to be "tolerated" while laying on the sand, we want to have the same right as men. Their chest is "tolerated" in every public place, why not ours? We dream to be able to walk down Lincoln Rd. with our shirt open and enjoy the breeze on our torso the way some men do on a hot summer afternoon. We want women's bodies to be as free as men's are, that is our constitutional right!"
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NBC reports on GoTopless Day '09

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A Fight for the Right to Bare Boobs - Organization claims women should have right to be bare-chested too

Women's bikinis will be half-off in Chicago next month. And we're not talking about sales.

In January, U.S.-based GoTopless.org organized a topless protest at Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia. Up until recently, nudity was illegal except on designated beaches, but local councils considered bare breasts acceptable.

However, a Christian fundamentalist politician, Rev. Fred Nile, introduced legislation in the parliament of New South Wales that would prohibit women from going topless on all beaches.

In response, topless women gathered on the Bondi Beach in protest, arguing that women's breasts are not offensive and should be considered just as natural as men's chests.

Now that battle is moving to the 'States. In eight participating cities—including Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and Miami—topless women and men will gather and peacefully rally on Sunday, August 23, "to protest the gross inequality in the law and will demand that they be granted the fundamental right to be topless where men already enjoy that right according to the 14th amendment of the Constitution," according to the official website.

The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment states that "no state shall ... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws". The GoTopless.org Movement states that this Clause defends citizens from "gender-based differential treatment."

Therefore, if a man can go topless, so can a woman.

The protest is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. in front of the North Avenue Beach House.

"Top-free performances will be given by various artists to honor women's right to be top free [and] body painting will be available," according to the website. "The aim is to convey that the sight of a top free women [sic] in public is as natural as the sight of top free men."

For more information, visit [link] (Not-Safe-for-Work Warning: As can be expected, the website features photos and video of women's bare breasts.)

Matt Bartosik, a "between blogs" blogger, fully endorses the liberation of women's breasts.
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NY Daily News reports on GoTopless Day '09

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Topless women march in Central Park for right to bare breasts

Some were shocked. Others disgusted. But for some, it was the breast day ever!

Dozens of semi-nude women gave the city a Double-D eyeful Sunday when they bared their boobs in Central Park and then marched through the streets.

The daring display was part of "National Go-Topless Day" - indeed, there is such a thing - and stunned jaded New Yorkers and wide-eyed tourists alike.

"This is unbelievable - and super," said Dalvin Jan, 21, who rents bicycles for a living on Central Park South. "I'm going to tell my wife to join in."

With Chaka Khan's "I'm Every Woman" blaring from speakers and chants of "free your breasts, free your mind," the troupe of bare-breasted women - and their enthusiastic male supporters - paraded their way along Central Park South.

"We're all here for the same reason - to allow women to be free in the park like men," organizer Sylvie Chabot, 54, of Montreal, told the crowd at a midday rally at Columbus Circle.

Motorists honked their horns in support while bemused tourists took photos from passing tour buses.

"I'm pretty surprised," said Carolyn Meierjurgen, 49, of New Jersey, who was taking a horse carriage ride in the park. "If they want to do it, let them do it. I couldn't," she admitted.

Several unhappy onlookers complained to cops who were powerless to intervene.

New York is the only state in the country where women can be topless legally, after a 1992 ruling in the state's highest court. That means any woman can walk around the city at any time with no shirt on.

Among the speakers was Ramona Santorelli, of upstate Rochester, who was the plaintiff in the 1992 case.

"It's not about baring your breasts," she said. "But the true meaning is to normalize women's bodies."

Yesterday's protesters noted that is not always the case.

Artist Jill Coccaro, who goes by the name Phoenix Feeley, tested the New York law in 2005 after cops arrested her for exposing her breasts on Delancey St. She cited the 1992 ruling when cops grabbed her, but was held for 12 hours. She sued. The city later settled for $29,000.

Topless events took place across the country, from Los Angeles to Columbus, Ohio.

Organizers gathered signatures for a petition asking Congress to relax nudity laws, which they plan to hand over on Go-Topless Day next year.

Most passersby were amused by the sight of scores of half-naked people.

"It's nice for them," said unfazed Swedish tourist Birgitta Asplin, 58. "It's the human body - nothing more!"

But others said it was all a very bad idea.

"This is extreme liberalism and why America's in decline," shouted one woman, who said she was a doctor but declined to give her name. "It's degrading to women to tell them to expose their breasts publicly."

"I'm not shocked - we're in New York City," said Lindsay Hall, 28, of Maryland. "But speaking from a woman's perspective, I disagree with them. There's something to be said for modesty," she added.
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