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GoTopless organization denounces American and Canadian cities breaching existing topless laws

LAS VEGAS, July 6 – “Our organization has been closely following the recent controversy going on in Ontario, Canada, where an 8-year-old girl going topless at a public pool in the town of Guelph was ordered to put her top back on.” said Nadine Gary, spokesperson for GoTopless, a women’s rights organization working toward gender equal topless rights, in a statement released today.

“Ontario is a legally topless province for both genders,” Gary said. “Boys were going topless at this pool, but they weren’t ordered to do otherwise. Only the bare-chested girl was singled out and such a discrimination has to stop.”

She said persecution of bare-chested females isn’t unusual in North American cities, despite existing equal-gender topless laws.

“How does a town like Guelph so easily breach a provincial Court ruling establishing topless rights?” Gary asked, adding that the same unconstitutional decisions are also made by cities across the United States.

“Although many U.S. states are now legally top-free for all, city governments still pass ordinances violating the state statutes because repressive organizations and individuals pressure them to do it,” she explained.

Attainment of universal equal-gender topless rights is the primary goal of Gary’s organization.

“Maitreya Rael , spiritual leader of the Raelian Movement, inspired the foundation of GoTopless when saying, ‘As long as men are allowed to go topless in public, women should either have that same constitutional right or men should also have to wear something to hide their chests’ ”, Gary said.

“Rampant repression of female nudity continues to squelch women's equal topless rights in both Canada and the United States,” she said. “We’re seeing court rulings and states statutes trampled to cater to local community bias. This has to stop! What if Americans uncomfortable with racial equality were to pressure cities to bring back segregation and keep black citizens from using public pools? Lawsuits against such cities would immediately be launched, with huge damages awarded. So cities don’t.”

Yet local governments do believe they can overrule clearly established state or provincial gender equality laws, Gary said.   

“The city councils of Ashland, Oregon, and Santa Fe, New Mexico, to mention two, wouldn’t think of reinstating segregation laws, but somehow felt justified to ignore existing state statutes by prosecuting female topless-ness,” she said. “We’re saying that’s not OK, and it has to stop!”

GoTopless' annual GoTopless Day is planned on Aug 23 in Guelph and throughout the US, Canada to denounce this violation and to firmly enforce equal gender topless rights.

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Unbalanced individuals cause legally topless Guelph, Canada to make 4 year old and up cover their chest at public pools.

The following story shows you how a well established State policy that garantees equal topless rights like in the case of Ontario, Canada can insidiously be violated by a city whose government caves in under the pressure of a few unbalanced, repressed citizens who have difficulty dealing with a bare female chest in public.  

The pathology of these maladapted individuals is to constantly perceive the human body as sexual including the body of children! It is horrifying to see that the topless laws of our society are based on the psychologically challenged views of a minority which contaminates the rest of our community with shame and guilt... or worse.  While we must be considerate of their psychological handicap and must patiently help them overcome it,  they mustn't be allowed to decide on policies concerning women's topless rights! Endorsing policies that suit their impaired point of view will only aggravate their repressed condition and possibly cause healthy minds to suffer from the same unfortunate unbalances. As an analogy, imagine the tragic consequences if we had let racist individuals rule on segregation in the 1960's!  

Thankfully, our society has an impartial safeguard to our human shortfalls: our Constitution which must always have the last word in all circumstances including equal gender topless rights.

The city of Guelph, famous for its Gwen Jacob court case in the early 1990's that made going topless legal, has duly "revisited" the well established equal gender topless policy and ban women from the age of 4 and up from exposing their chest at public swimming pools.

The incident that sparked the controversy occured on Saturday when a a lifeguard told a Fergus family their eight-year-old daughter Marlee had to cover up while in the Exhibition Park pool. Her brothers were allowed to continue swimming in just their shorts.

Marlee's mother, Anika Warmington strongly disagrees with the lifeguard's request, explaining that it was terribly wrong and extremely inappropriate because it sexualized the chest of her 8 year old daughter. She wondered if he realized the message he will actually sending by saying that.
 City Councillors, Mark MacKinnon, Phil Allt and Dan Gibson shared the mother's opinion.  Mackinnon stated that "There's no reason why someone standing on one side of the fence at that public pool can be topless but on the other side can't. That's not a good rule, it doesn't make sense.

The Ward 6 councillor said the entire community should not bend to accommodate a minority who might be offended and went on saying "Otherwise there are some people that might not like seeing women's ankles and we don't want to go back to that".  

It is to be noted that all women, regardless of age, are legally allowed to go topless in the province, following a 1996 Ontario Court of Appeal ruling.  The ruling overturned the indecency conviction of Gwen Jacob, a University of Guelph student who was arrested by Guelph police in 1991 for walking topless.

On the other hand,  Kristene Scott, general manager of the Guelph Parks and Recreation department, said that she was satisfied the policy implemented by the lifeguard. "Although it's legal for anyone to be topless in the public realm, when participating in city recreation programs or using supervised or enclosed recreational facilities, we require them to wear bathing tops," she said.

"For the protection of all participants and staff, females ages four and older must wear a bathing top in City of Guelph enclosed or fenced pools," the policy states.

Ward 1 Coun. Gibson said he would like to "hear the dialogue out."  "When I hear the term 'sexualizing our kids' I struggle just because I'm not sure that was the intent of the rule," he said.  "But to revisit and to make sure it's still accommodating for everyone, absolutely, there's no harm in it.  "Let kids be kids, that's my position," he added.

Mayor Cam Guthrie wrote in an email that he committed to the girl's mother on Twitter that he would look into it with staff and is still working on that.

Catherine Carstairs, a gender history expert and associate professor at the University of Guelph, finds the policy "unfortunate.  "It's certainly indicative of the degree to which we sexualize women's chests and then put that back on children," she said.

Paul Rapoport, co-ordinator with the Topfree Equal Rights Association, said he doubts that the city's policy is even constitutional, given that it contradicts the Gwen Jacob appeal court ruling.

"Women have the right to be without tops at any age, just about anywhere in public," he said. "If they're trying to satisfy everybody and not offend anyone then everybody had best dress the way they did in 1900 to swim."

Article drawn from http://www.guelphmercury.com/news-story/5692029-guelph-councillors-open-to-revisiting-topless-swimming-pool-policy-in-wake-of-controversy/

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Police violates the right of legally topless sunbather in British Columbia - The importance of standing up for your topless right.

During the weekend of June 14, 2015, Jessica Lehegarate was sunbathing topless on the legally topless public beach of Kelowa, BC, Canada. A police officer walked up to her and told her that he was going to arrest her if she didn't put some clothes on or else she'd have to leave immediately. Jessica rightfully responded that it is legal to go topless in British Columbia. The officer answered that he couldn't charge her but that he could arrest her.  

Such situation is outrageous and no woman should put up with such intimidating, discriminatory tactics.  If you are a female who is legally going topless in public, be prepared to educate the police who may stop you by having a copy of your local indecent exposure statute pertaining to female breasts in your belongings.  If the police continues to harrass you and decides to arrest you and it is clear that going topless is your only "crime", then you have the option to politely comply with the arrest (if someone else is filming the sitution, all the better) and then turn back and sue the police and / or the city for wrongful arrest.

In NYC, two notorious topless activists, Phoenix Feeley and Holly Van Voast were both wrongfully arrested in the City while going topless in public. They both sued and received a significant sum of money in damages. If you have the patience and the determination, you are strongly encouraged to do the same wherever topless rights are already recognized.  It seems to be the only way for law inforcement employees to learn to respect women's topless rights. Sometimes it takes a financial "slap on the wrist" before a city learns its lesson.

Now the NYC police is regularly briefed on Women's topless rights in the City but we still advise women to carry that statute if they plan on going topless.  One can never be too cautious.

Thank you, Jessica for bringing this matter to us and allowing us to share with the public.  Each story brings us closer to a true equal gender topless society. Please feel free to share yours with us.

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