Three Women Ask Supreme Court To Overturn New Hampshire Town's Topless Ban
By Bill Galluccio
August 20, 2019
Three women from New Hampshire are petitioning the Supreme Court to take up their case against a local ordinance that makes it illegal for women to be topless in public. The case began in 2016 when Ginger Pierro was arrested for doing yoga while topless on the beach in Laconia. Three days later, Heidi Lilley and Kia Sinclair were arrested when they went topless at the beach to protest Pierro's arrest.
The women sued to have their convictions overturned, arguing that the law treats men and women differently. They lost their appeals and the New Hampshire Supreme Court refused to hear their case, despite acknowledging that the law does treat men and women differently.
"We are extremely disappointed in the Court's ruling that treating women differently than men does not amount to sex discrimination. The Court has effectively condoned making it a crime to be female," their lawyer Dan Hynes said at the time.
After losing in the state courts, the women then decided to pursue a legislative solution, hoping to convince New Hampshire lawmakers to ensure their right to be topless in public.
While those efforts have stalled, their case got new life in February after a federal appeals court for the 10th Circuit struck down a topless ban in Fort Collins, Colorado. The women hope that the Supreme Court will take their case when its new term begins in October.
Photo: Getty Images